Improving the electrical conductivity and interface properties of carbon fiber/epoxy composites by low temperature flame growth of carbon nanotubes

Xusheng Du, Feng Xu, Hong Yuan Liu, Yinggang Miao, Wei Guo Guo, Yiu Wing Mai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were grown in situ on carbon fibers (CFS) at low temperature (∼450 °C) in an ethanol combustion flame to develop multifunctional hierarchical reinforcements for epoxy resin matrices. Because of the low temperature, short duration and reducing atmosphere used in the flame growth process, there was no evident decrease of the tensile strength of the CFS. However, both the electrical conductivity and interfacial properties of the CFS were improved significantly after the CNTs were grown for only 3 minutes, resulting in >170% increase in in-plane electrical conductivity and ∼70% improvement in interfacial shear strength of the carbon fiber/epoxy composites. Electron microscopy studies revealed that both tip and root growth mechanisms were involved during the flame-induced synthesis. A good interfacial bonding strength between the CNTs and CFS was observed and could be attributed to the diffusion of metal catalyst particles into the CF surface and/or the carbon bonding between CNTs and CFS. Substantial improvements in electrical conductivity and interfacial properties without compromising the tensile strength of CFS after the flame growth of CNTs confirmed the efficiency and effectiveness of this method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48896-48904
Number of pages9
JournalRSC Advances
Volume6
Issue number54
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering

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