Improvement in the Mechanical Properties of B-Staged Carbon Nanotube/Epoxy Based Thin Film Systems
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Polymeric systems have been the subject of tremendous interest to the aerospace industry due to their high strength per weight ratio but have not seen the use projected due to their poor compression after impact strength, fracture toughness, and electrical conductivity. This work has focused on the integration of single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) into polymeric systems to serve as interleaves to improve the mechanical properties of carbon fiber panels. Pristine, oxidized, and functionalized carbon nanotubes were produced and cast into B-staged (50% cured) thin film epoxy resin systems. Mechanical characterizations were carried out on bulk samples and showed that the introduction of well dispersed SWCNTs functionalized with sulfanilamide improved the Young’s modulus of the neat epoxy by 16%, the tensile strength by 47%, the elongation at break by 157%, and the fracture toughness, as determined by KIC, by 10%. Nylon was introduced into the system as a toughening agent at 10 wt% and showed an 8% increase in the Young’s modulus, a 29% increase in iv tensile strength, a 183% increase in elongation at break, and a 44% increase in fracture toughness. These composite films were successfully transferred into a carbon fiber interleave using Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Molding (VARTM).
White, Kevin (2011). Improvement in the Mechanical Properties of B-Staged Carbon Nanotube/Epoxy Based Thin Film Systems. Available electronically from