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Materials 2014, 7(5), 3699-3714; doi:10.3390/ma7053699
Article

Fabrication of a Low Density Carbon Fiber Foam and Its Characterization as a Strain Gauge

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Received: 30 January 2014; in revised form: 28 March 2014 / Accepted: 29 April 2014 / Published: 8 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Fibers)
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Abstract: Samples of carbon nano-fiber foam (CFF), essentially a 3D solid mat of intertwined nanofibers of pure carbon, were grown using the Constrained Formation of Fibrous Nanostructures (CoFFiN) process in a steel mold at 550 °C from a palladium particle catalysts exposed to fuel rich mixtures of ethylene and oxygen. The resulting material was studied using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDX), Surface area analysis (BET), and Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA). Transient and dynamic mechanical tests clearly demonstrated that the material is viscoelastic. Concomitant mechanical and electrical testing of samples revealed the material to have electrical properties appropriate for application as the sensing element of a strain gauge. The sample resistance versus strain values stabilize after a few compression cycles to show a perfectly linear relationship. Study of microstructure, mechanical and electrical properties of the low density samples confirm the uniqueness of the material: It is formed entirely of independent fibers of diverse diameters that interlock forming a tridimensional body that can be grown into different shapes and sizes at moderate temperatures. It regains its shape after loads are removed, is light weight, presents viscoelastic behavior, thermal stability up to 550 °C, hydrophobicity, and is electrically conductive.
Keywords: carbon nanofiber; viscoelastic; strain gauge; low weight; porous; electrically conductive; hydrophobic carbon nanofiber; viscoelastic; strain gauge; low weight; porous; electrically conductive; hydrophobic
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Luhrs, C.C.; Daskam, C.D.; Gonzalez, E.; Phillips, J. Fabrication of a Low Density Carbon Fiber Foam and Its Characterization as a Strain Gauge. Materials 2014, 7, 3699-3714.

AMA Style

Luhrs CC, Daskam CD, Gonzalez E, Phillips J. Fabrication of a Low Density Carbon Fiber Foam and Its Characterization as a Strain Gauge. Materials. 2014; 7(5):3699-3714.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Luhrs, Claudia C.; Daskam, Chris D.; Gonzalez, Edwin; Phillips, Jonathan. 2014. "Fabrication of a Low Density Carbon Fiber Foam and Its Characterization as a Strain Gauge." Materials 7, no. 5: 3699-3714.


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