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  • Journal article
    Nguyen S, Anthony DB, Qian H, Yue C, Singh A, Bismarck A, Shaffer MSP, Greenhalgh ESet al., 2019,

    Mechanical and physical performance of carbon aerogel reinforced carbon fibre hierarchical composites

    , Composites Science and Technology, Vol: 182, ISSN: 0266-3538

    Carbon aerogel (CAG) is a potential hierarchical reinforcement to improve the matrix-dominated mechanical properties of continuous carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites in both multifunctional and purely structural applications. When using CAG to reinforce a polyethylene glycol diglycidyl ether (PEGDGE) matrix, the interlaminar shear strength, compressive modulus and strength increased approximately four-fold, whilst the out-of-plane electrical conductivity increased by 118%. These mechanical and electrical performance enhancements significantly improve the multifunctional efficiency of composite structural supercapacitors, which can offer weight savings in transport and other applications. However, CAG also has the potential to reinforce conventional continuous CF composites in purely structural contexts. Here, CAG reinforcement of structural epoxy resin composites marginally increased compressive (1.4%) and tensile (2.7%) moduli respectively, but considerably reduced compressive, tensile and interlaminar shear strengths. Fractographic analysis shows that the reduced performance can be attributed to poor interfacial adhesion; in the future, alternative processing routes may resolve these issues to achieve advances in both moduli and strengths over conventional structural CFRPs.

  • Conference paper
    Anthony DB, bismarck A, blaker JJ, Qian H, Maples HA, Robinson P, Shaffer MSP, Greenhalgh ESet al., 2016,

    Development of novel composites through fibre and interface/interphase modification

    , 37th Risø International Symposium on Materials Science, Publisher: IOP, Pages: 012001-012001, ISSN: 1757-8981

    We show how fibre/matrix interface (or interphase) modification can be used to develop a range of novel carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites that open up new applications far beyond those of standard CFRPs. For example, composites that undergo pseudo-ductile failure have been created through laser treatment of carbon fibres. Composites manufactured with thermo-responsive interphases can undergo significant reductions in stiffness at elevated temperatures. Additionally, structural supercapacitors have been developed through a process that involves encapsulating carbon fibres in carbon aerogel.

  • Conference paper
    Qian H, Nguyen S, Anthony DB, Singh A, Xu S, Greenhalgh E, Bismarck A, Shaffer Met al., 2015,

    Stiff monolithic aerogel matrices for structural fibre composites

    , 20th International Conference on Composite Materials, Publisher:

    Resorcinol-formaldehyde based aerogel precursors were infused into structural carbon fibreweaves, then gelled and carbonised to generate a continuous monolithic matrix network. Thishierarchical carbon preform was subsequently infused with polymeric resins, both multifunctional andstructural, to produce dense composites. The resulting hierarchical composites have a nanoscalereinforcement in the matrix at up to an order of magnitude higher loadings than typically available byother techniques. Compression, tension, ±45° shear and short beam tests demonstrate the potential ofsuch matrix systems to address matrix dominated failures. However, for the best structuralperformance it will be necessary to re-optimise the fibre-matrix interface, which is degraded by thecurrent processing regime.

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