Multiscale thermoplastic laminate composites based on polyamide 6 (PA6) dually reinforced by carbon fiber woven textile structures (CFT) and different micron-sized metal particles are prepared for the first time by microencapsulation strategy. In a first step, activated anionic ring-opening polymerization (AAROP) of ε-caprolactam is carried out in suspension, in the presence of different metal particles, to produce shell-core PA6 microcapsules (PAMC) loaded with 13–19% metal. In a second step, the loaded PAMC are distributed between CFT plies with fiber volume fractions V f = 0.25 or V f = 0.50 and then the ply arrays are consolidated by compression molding. Separately, metal-loaded PA6 hybrid composites are prepared by direct compression molding of PAMC and used to compare their properties to the CFT-metal laminates. Light- and scanning electron microscopy are used to study the morphology and the interfaces between the fillers and the polymeric matrix. These structural results are related to the mechanical behavior in tension and the electrical properties. A notable increase of the d.c. electrical conductivity in 7 orders of magnitude is observed for the CFT-metal laminates with respect to the neat PA6. This increase is accompanied by a 2.5–3.0 times growth of the Young’s modulus and of the strength at break. It is concluded that the microencapsulation strategy can be applied to produce multifunctional CFT-metal-PA6 thermoplastic composites with tailored electrical and improved mechanical properties for advanced applications.
Journal of Materials Science – Springer Journals
Published: May 17, 2018
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