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Materials 2014, 7(6), 4640-4657; doi:10.3390/ma7064640

Improved Strength and Toughness of Carbon Woven Fabric Composites with Functionalized MWCNTs

1
Department of Civil Engineering, Assiut University, Assiut 71515, Egypt
2
Polymer Nanocomposites Center, Egyptian Petroleum Research Institute, 1 Ahmed El-Zomor Street, Nasr City, Cairo 11727, Egypt
3
Department of Civil Engineering, University of New Mexico, MSC01 1070, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 February 2014 / Revised: 11 April 2014 / Accepted: 4 June 2014 / Published: 18 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Fibers)
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Abstract

This investigation examines the role of carboxyl functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (COOH-MWCNTs) in the on- and off-axis flexure and the shear responses of thin carbon woven fabric composite plates. The chemically functionalized COOH-MWCNTs were used to fabricate epoxy nanocomposites and, subsequently, carbon woven fabric plates to be tested on flexure and shear. In addition to the neat epoxy, three loadings of COOH-MWCNTs were examined: 0.5 wt%, 1.0 wt% and 1.5 wt% of epoxy. While no significant statistical difference in the flexure response of the on-axis specimens was observed, significant increases in the flexure strength, modulus and toughness of the off-axis specimens were observed. The average increase in flexure strength and flexure modulus with the addition of 1.5 wt% COOH-MWCNTs improved by 28% and 19%, respectively. Finite element modeling is used to demonstrate fiber domination in on-axis flexure behavior and matrix domination in off-axis flexure behavior. Furthermore, the 1.5 wt% COOH-MWCNTs increased the toughness of carbon woven composites tested on shear by 33%. Microstructural investigation using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) proves the existence of chemical bonds between the COOH-MWCNTs and the epoxy matrix. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon nanotubes; functionalization; woven fabric; epoxy; FTIR; toughness carbon nanotubes; functionalization; woven fabric; epoxy; FTIR; toughness
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Soliman, E.; Kandil, U.; Taha, M.R. Improved Strength and Toughness of Carbon Woven Fabric Composites with Functionalized MWCNTs. Materials 2014, 7, 4640-4657.

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