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Fabrication and Testing of Three-Dimensionally Reinforced Carbon Nanotube Based Laminated Nanocomposites

D. Askari, M.N. Ghasemi-Nejhad
The University of Texas at Brownsville, US

Keywords: carbon nanotubes, laminated composites, multifunctional nanocomposites, material properties, inter-laminar shear strength


Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) can be used for the reinforcement of polymers to create novel nanotube based nanocomposites with tunable properties and multifunctional behaviors. Chemical vapor deposition technique is employed to grow vertically aligned high density arrays of CNTs. To incorporate the excellent properties of CNTs into the existing traditional composite technology, the growth of CNTs perpendicular to the surface of treated 2-D woven cloths and tows of various microfibers have been successfully demonstrated in this work. These 3-D novel nanoforests-like fabrics can be used to fabricate hierarchical 3-D multifunctional nanocomposites. The presence of vertically aligned CNTs in through-the-thickness direction and in between the adjacent fabric layers of the laminated composite can considerably enhance the inter-laminar and through-the-thickness properties of the composite laminated structures. To demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach, composite single lap-joint specimens were fabricated for inter-laminar shear strength testing. It is observed that single lap-joints with carbon cloth insertion layers having CNTs nanoforest can carry considerably higher shear stresses and strains. This concludes that the adhesion of adjacent carbon fabric layers can considerably be improved due to the growth of vertically aligned CNTs nanoforest in through-the-thickness direction.
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