Carbon nanotube (CNT) assemblies such as vertical arrays and mats have been investigated for their potential to provide additional interlaminar toughness for carbon fibre-reinforced laminates, although the achieved improvement in mechanical properties has not always been consistent so far. In this study, we introduced thin interlayers of continuous unidirectional CNT fibres for additional in-plane reinforcement and toughening of conventional autoclave-cured carbon fibre composites. Double notched specimens with and without CNT fibre reinforcing layers were tested to failure in tension. The results show that the introduction of relatively thin interlayers of continuous CNT fibres at local regions close to the notch tip increased the failure load and stress by 9% and the failure strain by 15% respectively, suggesting the toughening potential of CNT fibres. The observed mechanical behaviour is discussed with respect to the strength and compaction of pristine CNT fibres during the autoclave processing and their contributions towards the reinforcing efficiency.
Materials & design – Elsevier
Published: Apr 5, 2018
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