Today polymer/carbon nanotube (CNT) composites can be found in sports equipment, cars, and electronic devices. The growth of old and new markets in this area has been stimulated by our increased understanding of relevant production and processing methods, as well as the considerable price reduction of industrial CNT grades. In particular, CNT based electrically conductive polymer composites (CPCs) offer a range of opportunities because of their unique property profile; they demonstrate low specific gravity in combination with relatively good mechanical properties and processability. The electrical conductivity of polymer/CNT composites results from a continuous filler network that can be affected by various external stimuli, such as temperature shifts, mechanical deformations, and the presence of gases and vapors or solvents. Accordingly, CNT based CPCs represent promising candidates for the design of smart components capable of integrated monitoring. In this article we focus on their use as leakage detectors for organic solvents.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(11)70164-X