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Open AccessArticle

Hybrid Composites Based on Carbon Fiber/Carbon Nanofilament Reinforcement

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, Naval Postgraduate School, 700 Dyer Rd, Monterey, CA 93943, USA
Physics Department, Naval Postgraduate School, 833 Dyer Rd Monterey, CA 93943, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2014, 7(6), 4182-4195;
Received: 7 March 2014 / Revised: 2 May 2014 / Accepted: 23 May 2014 / Published: 28 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Fibers)
Carbon nanofilament and nanotubes (CNTs) have shown promise for enhancing the mechanical properties of fiber-reinforced composites (FRPs) and imparting multi-functionalities to them. While direct mixing of carbon nanofilaments with the polymer matrix in FRPs has several drawbacks, a high volume of uniform nanofilaments can be directly grown on fiber surfaces prior to composite fabrication. This study demonstrates the ability to create carbon nanofilaments on the surface of carbon fibers employing a synthesis method, graphitic structures by design (GSD), in which carbon structures are grown from fuel mixtures using nickel particles as the catalyst. The synthesis technique is proven feasible to grow nanofilament structures—from ethylene mixtures at 550 °C—on commercial polyacrylonitrile (PAN)-based carbon fibers. Raman spectroscopy and electron microscopy were employed to characterize the surface-grown carbon species. For comparison purposes, a catalytic chemical vapor deposition (CCVD) technique was also utilized to grow multiwall CNTs (MWCNTs) on carbon fiber yarns. The mechanical characterization showed that composites using the GSD-grown carbon nanofilaments outperform those using the CCVD-grown CNTs in terms of stiffness and tensile strength. The results suggest that further optimization of the GSD growth time, patterning and thermal shield coating of the carbon fibers is required to fully materialize the potential benefits of the GSD technique. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon fiber; carbon nanofilaments; fiber reinforced composites; mechanical properties carbon fiber; carbon nanofilaments; fiber reinforced composites; mechanical properties
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tehrani, M.; Yari Boroujeni, A.; Luhrs, C.; Phillips, J.; Al-Haik, M.S. Hybrid Composites Based on Carbon Fiber/Carbon Nanofilament Reinforcement. Materials 2014, 7, 4182-4195.

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