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Thermal, Electrical and Surface Hydrophobic Properties of Electrospun Polyacrylonitrile Nanofibers for Structural Health Monitoring

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Department of Mechanical Engineering, Wichita State University, 1845 Fairmount, Wichita, KS 67260-0133, USA
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Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Majmaah University, Riydh, Saudi Arabia
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Department of Geology, Wichita State University, 1845 Fairmount, Wichita, KS 67260-0133, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Nicole Zander
Materials 2015, 8(10), 7017-7031; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma8105356
Received: 24 August 2015 / Revised: 16 September 2015 / Accepted: 30 September 2015 / Published: 14 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Materials)
This paper presents an idea of using carbonized electrospun Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fibers as a sensor material in a structural health monitoring (SHM) system. The electrospun PAN fibers are lightweight, less costly and do not interfere with the functioning of infrastructure. This study deals with the fabrication of PAN-based nanofibers via electrospinning followed by stabilization and carbonization in order to remove all non-carbonaceous material and ensure pure carbon fibers as the resulting material. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy was used to determine the ionic conductivity of PAN fibers. The X-ray diffraction study showed that the repeated peaks near 42° on the activated nanofiber film were α and β phases, respectively, with crystalline forms. Contact angle, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) were also employed to examine the surface, thermal and chemical properties of the carbonized electrospun PAN fibers. The test results indicated that the carbonized PAN nanofibers have superior physical properties, which may be useful for structural health monitoring (SHM) applications in different industries. View Full-Text
Keywords: electrospinning; polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofibers; oxidation; carbonization; physical properties electrospinning; polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofibers; oxidation; carbonization; physical properties
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Alarifi, I.M.; Alharbi, A.; Khan, W.S.; Swindle, A.; Asmatulu, R. Thermal, Electrical and Surface Hydrophobic Properties of Electrospun Polyacrylonitrile Nanofibers for Structural Health Monitoring. Materials 2015, 8, 7017-7031.

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