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Open AccessArticle

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

Department of Civil Engineering, Assiut University, Assiut 71515, Egypt
Polymer Nanocomposites Center, Egyptian Petroleum Research Institute, 1 Ahmed El-Zomor Street, Nasr City, Cairo 11727, Egypt
Department of Civil Engineering, University of New Mexico, MSC01 1070, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2014, 7(6), 4640-4657;
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)
PDF [3072 KB, uploaded 18 June 2014]


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

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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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