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Functionally graded carbon nanotube and nafion/silica nanofibre for electrical actuation of carbon fibre reinforced shape memory polymer

Haibao Lu (Science and Technology on Advanced Composites in Special Environments Laboratory, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China.)
Yongtao Yao (Science and Technology on Advanced Composites in Special Environments Laboratory, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin , China)
Jinying  Yin (School of Measurement and Communication, Harbin University of Science and Technology, Harbin, China)
Long Lin (Department of Colour and Polymer Chemistry, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK)

Pigment & Resin Technology

ISSN: 0369-9420

Article publication date: 7 March 2016

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to study the synergistic effect of self-assembled carboxylic acid-functionalised carbon nanotube (CNT) and nafion/silica nanofibre nanopaper on the electro-activated shape memory effect (SME) and shape recovery behaviour of shape memory polymer (SMP) nanocomposite.

Design/methodology/approach

Carboxylic acid-functionalised CNT and nafion/silica nanofibre are first self-assembled onto carbon fibre by means of deposition and electrospinning approaches, respectively, to form functionally graded nanopaper. The combination of carbon fibre and CNT is introduced to enable the actuation of the SME in SMP by means of Joule heating at a low electric voltage of 3.0-5.0 V.

Findings

Nafion/silica nanofibre is used to improve the shape recovery behaviour and performance of the SMP for enhanced heat transfer and electrical actuation effectiveness. Low electrical voltage actuation and high electrical actuation effectiveness of 32.5 per cent in SMP has been achieved.

Research limitations/implications

A simple way for fabricating electro-activated SMP nanocomposites has been developed by using functionally graded CNT and nafion/silica nanofibre nanopaper.

Originality/value

The outcome of this study will help to fabricate the SMP composite with high electrical actuation effectiveness under low electrical voltage actuation.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Conflict of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Citation

Lu, H., Yao, Y., Yin, J. and Lin, L. (2016), "Functionally graded carbon nanotube and nafion/silica nanofibre for electrical actuation of carbon fibre reinforced shape memory polymer", Pigment & Resin Technology, Vol. 45 No. 2, pp. 93-98. https://doi.org/10.1108/PRT-05-2015-0048

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited