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Title: Effect of Nano-Reinforcement Topologies on the Viscoelastic Performance of Carbon Nanotube/Carbon Fiber Hybrid Composites
In this investigation, multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were grown over carbon fiber fabrics via a relatively nondestructive synthesis technique. The MWCNTs patches were grown into three different topologies: uniform, fine patterned and coarse patterned. Hybrid carbon fiber-reinforced polymer composites (CFRPs) were fabricated based on the patterned reinforcements. Tensile tests, dynamic mechanical thermal analyses (DMTA) and flexure load relaxation tests were carried out to investigate the effect of the patterned nano-reinforcement on the static, dynamic, glass transition, and viscoelastic performance of the hybrid composites. Results revealed that the hybrid composite based on fine-patterned topology achieved better performance over all other configurations as it exhibited about 19% improvement in both the strength and modulus over the reference composite with no MWCNTs. Additionally, the increase in glass transition for this composite was as high as 13%. The damping parameter (tan δ) was improved by 46%. The stress relaxation results underlined the importance of patterned MWCNTs in minimizing the stress decay at elevated temperatures and loading conditions. Utilizing patterned MWCNTs topology significantly reduced the stress decay percentage at the thermomechanical conditions 60 MPa and 75 °C from 16.7% to 7.8%. These improvements are attributed to both the enhanced adhesion and large interface area by placing MWCNTs and by inducing an interlocking mechanism that allows the interaction of the three constituents in load transfer, crack deflection and hindering undesired viscoelastic deformations under different thermomechanical loadings.  more » « less
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National Science Foundation
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