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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1052478, 6 pages
Research Article

Characterization and Alignment of Carbon Nanofibers under Shear Force in Microchannel

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32310, USA
2State Key Laboratory of High Performance Ceramics and Superfine Microstructure, Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200050, China
3Structural Ceramics and Composites Engineering Research Center, Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200050, China
4Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816, USA

Received 23 December 2015; Accepted 29 February 2016

Academic Editor: Stefano Bellucci

Copyright © 2016 Jinshan Yang 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.


This work presents a novel method to align CNFs by using shear forces in microchannels. Effect of two different microchannel sizes (1 mm × 0.1 mm and 1 mm × 0.2 mm) on CNFs alignment is investigated. SEM images of CNFs preform display significant alignment by both microchannels, which can be interpreted using a second-order alignment tensor and a manual angle meter. In the second-order alignment tensor description, an elongated ellipse can signify high degree of alignment in the direction of the major axis. When the microchannel size is 1 mm × 0.2 mm, the lengths of major and minor axes of the ellipse are 0.982 to 0.018. An angle meter manually shows that 85% of the CNFs are aligned in the direction between 60° and 90° when the microchannel is 1 mm × 0.2 mm. Both methods can demonstrate that better alignment of CNFs can be obtained using the 1 mm × 0.2 mm microchannel.