Improving the toughness and electrical conductivity of epoxy nanocomposites by using aligned carbon nanofibres

Ladani, R, Wu, S, Kinloch, A, Ghorbani, K, Zhang, J, Mouritz, A and Wang, C 2015, 'Improving the toughness and electrical conductivity of epoxy nanocomposites by using aligned carbon nanofibres', Composites Science and Technology, vol. 117, pp. 146-158.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

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Title Improving the toughness and electrical conductivity of epoxy nanocomposites by using aligned carbon nanofibres
Author(s) Ladani, R
Wu, S
Kinloch, A
Ghorbani, K
Zhang, J
Mouritz, A
Wang, C
Year 2015
Journal name Composites Science and Technology
Volume number 117
Start page 146
End page 158
Total pages 13
Publisher Elsevier Ltd
Abstract There is an increasing demand for high performance composites with enhanced mechanical and electrical properties. Carbon nanofibres offer a promising solution but their effectiveness has been limited by difficulty in achieving directional alignment. Here we report the use of an alternating current (AC) electric field to align carbon nanofibres in an epoxy. During the cure process of an epoxy resin, carbon nanofibres (CNFs) are observed to rotate and align with the applied electric field, forming a chain-like structure. The fracture energies of the resultant epoxy nanocomposites containing different concentrations of CNFs (up to 1.6wt%) are measured using double cantilever beam specimens. The results show that the addition of 1.6wt% of aligned CNFs increases the electrical conductivity of such nanocomposites by about seven orders of magnitudes to 10-2S/m and increases the fracture energy, GIc, by about 1600% from 134 to 2345J/m2. A modelling technique is presented to quantify this major increase in the fracture energy with aligned CNFs. The results of this research open up new opportunities to create multi-scale composites with greatly enhanced multifunctional properties.
Subject Aerospace Materials
Composite and Hybrid Materials
Keyword(s) A. Adhesive joints
B. Fracture toughness
C. Fibre bridging
C. Modelling
Fibre pull-out
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.compscitech.2015.06.006
Copyright notice © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
ISSN 0266-3538
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