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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2016, Article ID 9705257, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/9705257
Research Article

Woven Glass Fiber Composites with Aligned Carbon Nanotube Sheet Interlayers

Department of Textile Engineering Chemistry and Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA

Received 14 September 2015; Accepted 23 November 2015

Academic Editor: Hassan Karimi-Maleh

Copyright © 2016 Hardik Bhanushali and Philip D. Bradford. 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

This investigation describes the design, fabrication, and testing of woven glass fiber reinforced epoxy matrix laminates with aligned CNT sheets integrated between plies in order to improve the matrix dominated through thickness properties such as the interlaminar fracture toughness at ply interfaces. Using aligned CNT sheets allows for a concentration of millimeter long CNTs at the most likely point of laminate failure. Mode I and Mode II interlaminar fracture toughness of various CNT modified samples were investigated using double cantilever beam (DCB) and end notched flexure (ENF) experiments, respectively. Short beam strength (SBS) and in-plane tensile properties of the CNT modified samples were also investigated. Moderate improvement was observed in Mode I and Mode II fracture toughness at crack initiation when aligned CNT sheets with a basis weight of 0.354 g/m2 were used to modify the ply interface. No compromise in the in-plane mechanical properties of the laminate was observed and very little improvement was observed in the shear related short beam strength of the CNT modified laminates as compared to the control samples. Integration of aligned CNT sheets into the composite laminate imparted in-plane and through thickness electrical properties into the nonconductive glass fiber reinforced epoxy composite laminates.