CNT reinforced polymer matrix composites
U, Horng Chyi
Date of Issue2016
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Carbon nanotube (CNT) is a molecular-scale tube which is made up of rolled sheets of hexagonal array of carbon atoms in sp2 orbital hybridization. The covalent bonding structure of CNTs exhibits extraordinary mechanical, electrical and magnetic properties which is an ideal reinforcing agent for polymer composites. This study aims to improve the through thickness and toughness of the long reinforced composite laminates by incorporating carbon nanotubes into to polymeric matrices. Epoxy (EPICOTE 1004) was introduced and mixed with its hardener at a 5:2 volume ratio while general purpose polyester and Methyl Ethyl Ketone Peroxide (MEKP) were mixed and crosslinked together at a volume ratio of 1:0.01 at a certain curing temperature. They were each applied on a plain weave woven glass fibre, with a size of 300 mm x 200 mm and thickness of 2 mm, by hand lay-up technique. Resins were impregnated by hand into the fibres layer by layer. A plastic film was then covered over the wet laid-up laminates in order to vacuum the air bubbles that kept in between the laminates for several hours. A systematic investigation of the dispersion of modified and unmodified carbon nanotubes (CNTs), 1-6nm in diameter and few microns in length, in a bisphenol A and epichlorohydin based epoxy resin as well as in a styrene based polyester resin have been presented. Mechanical properties of polyester resin and epoxy resin were tested with the incorporation of CNTs in 0.05, 0.1 and 0.2 weight percentage respectively. The samples of each system were subjected to tension test, bending test and compression test and observed the mechanical properties of CNTs reinforced polymeric matrices composites.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University