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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2006 (2006), Article ID 32803, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/JNM/2006/32803

Damping Augmentation of Nanocomposites Using Carbon Nanofiber Paper

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL 36688-0002, USA
2Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204-4006, USA

Received 11 January 2006; Accepted 4 May 2006

Copyright © 2006 Jihua Gou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Vacuum-assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM) process was used to fabricate the nanocomposites through integrating carbon nanofiber paper into traditional glass fiber reinforced composites. The carbon nanofiber paper had a porous structure with highly entangled carbon nanofibers and short glass fibers. In this study, the carbon nanofiber paper was employed as an interlayer and surface layer of composite laminates to enhance the damping properties. Experiments conducted using the nanocomposite beam indicated up to 200–700% increase of the damping ratios at higher frequencies. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) characterization of the carbon nanofiber paper and the nanocomposites was also conducted to investigate the impregnation of carbon nanofiber paper by the resin during the VARTM process and the mechanics of damping augmentation. The study showed a complete penetration of the resin through the carbon nanofiber paper. The connectivities between carbon nanofibers and short glass fibers within the carbon nanofiber paper were responsible for the significant energy dissipation in the nanocomposites during the damping tests.