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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 453420, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/453420
Research Article

Multiscale Hybrid Micro-Nanocomposites Based on Carbon Nanotubes and Carbon Fibers

1Nanoforce Technology Limited, Joseph Priestley Building, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, UK
2Centre for Materials Research, School of Engineering and Materials Science, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, UK
3Eindhoven Polymer Laboratories, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 40, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Received 30 November 2009; Accepted 16 March 2010

Academic Editor: Frank T. Fisher

Copyright © 2010 Fawad Inam 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

Amino-modified double wall carbon nanotube (DWCNT-NH2)/carbon fiber (CF)/epoxy hybrid micro-nanocomposite laminates were prepared by a resin infusion technique. DWCNT-NH2/epoxy nanocomposites and carbon fiber/epoxy microcomposites were made for comparison. Morphological analysis of the hybrid composites was performed using field emission scanning electron microscope. A good dispersion at low loadings of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in epoxy matrix was achieved by a bath ultrasonication method. Mechanical characterization of the hybrid micro-nanocomposites manufactured by a resin infusion process included three-point bending, mode I interlaminar toughness, dynamic mechanical analysis, and drop-weight impact testing. The addition of small amounts of CNTs (0.025, 0.05, and 0.1 wt%) to epoxy resins for the fabrication of multiscale carbon fiber composites resulted in a maximum enhancement in flexural modulus by 35%, a 5% improvement in flexural strength, a 6% improvement in absorbed impact energy, and 23% decrease in the mode I interlaminar toughness. Hybridization of carbon fiber-reinforced epoxy using CNTs resulted in a reduction in 𝑇 𝑔 and dampening characteristics, presumably as a result of the presence of micron-sized agglomerates.