The purpose of this paper is to develop modified composite materials that show improved mechanical and structural integrity.
To accomplish this goal, a novel functionalisation method of the carbon fibres (CFs) for the reinforcement of the composites surface was investigated. Through the electrografting of methacrylic acid (MAA) onto the surface of the CF, this treatment aims to selectively modify the surface of the carbon fabrics, in order to create active groups that can chemically react with the epoxy resin, under heat and pressure. By this way, better adhesion as mechanical interlocking between the resin and the reinforcement can be achieved.
The surface treatment was examined qualitatively by means of infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy. The CF reinforced polymers were manufactured via the hot-press technique and they were subsequently submitted to flexural, shear and nanoindentation test. Finally, the internal structural integrity was tested through micro-computing tomography.
Through this investigation, it will be determined if the electropolymerisation of MAA onto the CF surface enhances the mechanical and structural integrity of composite materials.
This work was supported by the EU H2020 Project “Modified Cost Effective Fibre Based Structures with Improved Multi-Functionality and Performance” (MODCOMP) under Grant Agreement No. 685844.
Semitekolos, D., Goulis, P., Batsouli, D., Koumoulos, E.P., Zoumpoulakis, L. and Charitidis, C.A. (2019), "Enhancement of mechanical integrity of advanced composites using PMAA-electropolymerised CF fabrics", International Journal of Structural Integrity, Vol. 11 No. 5, pp. 645-654. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSI-08-2018-0050
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