Imperial College London

Prof Milo Shaffer

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Chemistry

Professor of Materials Chemistry



+44 (0)20 7594 5825m.shaffer Website




Mr John Murrell +44 (0)20 7594 2845




M221Royal College of ScienceSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {De, Luca H and Anthony, D and Greenhalgh, E and Bismarck, A and Shaffer, M},
doi = {10.1016/j.compscitech.2020.108275},
journal = {Composites Science and Technology},
pages = {1--12},
title = {Piezoresistive structural composites reinforced by carbon nanotube-grafted quartz fibres},
url = {},
volume = {198},
year = {2020}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Nano-engineered fibre/matrix interfaces can improve state-of-the-art fibre-reinforced composites. Grafting carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to high temperature quartz glass fibres produces “hairy” or “fuzzy” fibres, which combine reinforcements at micrometre and nanometre length scales. Fuzzy quartz fibres were produced continuously, reel-to-reel, on whole tows, in an open chemical vapour deposition reactor. The resulting uniform coverage of 200 nm long CNTs increased the interfacial shear strength with epoxy (90.3 ± 2.1 MPa) by 12% compared to the commercially-sized counterpart, as measured by single fibre pull-out tests. The improved interfacial properties were confirmed at the macroscale using unidirectional hierarchical bundle composites, which exhibited a delayed onset of fibre/matrix debonding. Although the quartz fibres are electrically insulating, the grafted CNT create a conductive path, predominantly parallel to the fibres. To explore the applicability for structural health monitoring, the resistivity was recorded in situ during mechanical testing, and correlated with simultaneous acoustic emission data. The baseline resistivity parallel to the fibres (ρ0 = 3.9 ± 0.4 × 10−1 Ω m) displayed a linear piezoresistive response (K = 3.64) until failure at ca. 2.1% strain, also referred to as "gauge factor”, a two-fold improvement over traditional resistance strain gauges (e.g. constantan). Hierarchical, fuzzy quartz fibres, therefore, simultaneously enhance both structural and sensing performance, offering multifunctional opportunities in large composite parts.
AU - De,Luca H
AU - Anthony,D
AU - Greenhalgh,E
AU - Bismarck,A
AU - Shaffer,M
DO - 10.1016/j.compscitech.2020.108275
EP - 12
PY - 2020///
SN - 0266-3538
SP - 1
TI - Piezoresistive structural composites reinforced by carbon nanotube-grafted quartz fibres
T2 - Composites Science and Technology
UR -
UR -
UR -
VL - 198
ER -