The effect of dispersing aid on the electrical and mechanical behavior of carbon-black filled latex composite films were examined during composite mixing. Dispersing agents were added to liquid-based composite systems during mixing to prevent filler aggregation and subsequent sedimentation. An increased percolation threshold and lowered maximum electrical conductivity was noticed on the modification of composite microstructure. The results exhibited an improvement in the break strength for composites prepared with dispersant so long as the carbon black concenteration is greater than 10 vol%.
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The authors would like to thank the Eastman Kodak Company, the University of Minnesota Graduate School, through its Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, the University of Minnesota Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) and the Industrial Partnership for Research in Interfacial and Materials Engineering (IPRIME), through its Coating Process Fundamentals Program, for financial support of this research.