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

Ladani, Raj B., Wu, Shuying, Kinloch, Anthony J., Ghorbani, Kamran, Zhang, Jin, Mouritz, Adrian P. and Wang, Chun H. 2015, Improving the toughness and electrical conductivity of epoxy nanocomposites by using aligned carbon nanofibres, Composites science and technology, vol. 117, pp. 146-158.

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Title Improving the toughness and electrical conductivity of epoxy nanocomposites by using aligned carbon nanofibres
Author(s) Ladani, Raj B.
Wu, Shuying
Kinloch, Anthony J.
Ghorbani, Kamran
Zhang, JinORCID iD for Zhang, Jin orcid.org/0000-0002-4257-8148
Mouritz, Adrian P.
Wang, Chun H.
Journal name Composites science and technology
Volume number 117
Start page 146
End page 158
Total pages 14
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2015-06
ISSN 0266-3538
Keyword(s) Adhesive joints
B. Fracture toughness
C. Fibre bridging
C. Modelling
Fibre pull-out
Summary 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<sup>-2</sup>S/m and increases the fracture energy, G<inf>Ic</inf>, by about 1600% from 134 to 2345J/m<sup>2</sup>. 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.
Language eng
Field of Research 091202 Composite and Hybrid Materials
Socio Economic Objective 861301 Aerospace Equipment
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Grant ID DP140100778
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30074168

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Institute for Frontier Materials
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