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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Enhanced out of Plane Electrical Conductivity in Polymer Composites Induced by CO2 Laser Irradiation of Carbon Fibers

1
School of Engineering, Engineering Research Institute, Ulster University, Newtownabbey BT37 0QB, UK
2
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(10), 3561; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10103561
Received: 2 May 2020 / Revised: 16 May 2020 / Accepted: 18 May 2020 / Published: 21 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multifunctional Composite Materials)
The creation of a hierarchical interface between the carbon fiber (CF) and the epoxy resin matrix of fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites has become an effective strategy for introducing multifunctional properties. Although the efficacy of many hierarchical interfaces has been established in lab-scale, their production is not amenable to high-volume, continuous, cost effective fiber production, which is required for the large-scale commercialization of composites. This work investigates the use of commercially available CO2 laser as a means of nano-structuring the surface of carbon fiber (CF) tows in an incessant throughput procedure. Even though the single carbon fiber tensile strength measurements showed a decrease up to 68% for the exposed CFs, the electrical conductivity exhibited an increment up to 18.4%. Furthermore, results on laminates comprised of irradiated unidirectional CF cloth, demonstrated an enhancement in out of plane electrical conductivity up to 43%, while preserved the Mode-I interlaminar fracture toughness of the composite, showing the potential for multifunctionality. This work indicates that the laser-induced graphitization of the CF surface can act as an interface for fast and cost-effective manufacturing of multifunctional CFRP composite materials. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon fibers (CFs); surface roughening; tensile strength; electrical conductivity; interlaminar fracture toughness; multifunctional fibers; hierarchical structures; laser irradiation; laser modification carbon fibers (CFs); surface roughening; tensile strength; electrical conductivity; interlaminar fracture toughness; multifunctional fibers; hierarchical structures; laser irradiation; laser modification
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MDPI and ACS Style

Karakassides, A.; Karakassides, A.; Konstantinidou, M.; Paipetis, A.S.; Papakonstantinou, P. Enhanced out of Plane Electrical Conductivity in Polymer Composites Induced by CO2 Laser Irradiation of Carbon Fibers. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 3561.

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