Electrospun carbon nanofibers for improved electrical conductivity of fiber reinforced composites
Alarifi, Ibrahim M.
Khan, Waseem Sabir
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Ibrahim M. Alarifi ; Abdulaziz Alharbi ; Waseem S. Khan ; Ramazan Asmatulu; Electrospun carbon nanofibers for improved electrical conductivity of fiber reinforced composites . Proc. SPIE 9430, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2015, 943032 (April 1, 2015)
Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) was dissolved in dimethylformamide (DMF), and then electrospun to generate nanofibers using various electrospinning conditions, such as pump speeds, DC voltages and tip-to-collector distances. The produced nanofibers were oxidized at 270 degrees C for 1 hr, and then carbonized at 850 degrees C in an argon gas for additional 1 hr. The resultant carbonized PAN nanofibers were placed on top of the pre-preg carbon fiber composites as top layers prior to the vacuum oven curing following the pre-preg composite curing procedures. The major purpose of this study is to determine if the carbonized nanofibers on the fiber reinforced composites can detect the structural defects on the composite, which may be useful for the structural health monitoring (SHM) of the composites. Scanning electron microscopy images showed that the electrospun PAN fibers were well integrated on the pre-preg composites. Electrical conductivity studies under various tensile loads revealed that nanoscale carbon fibers on the fiber reinforced composites detected small changes of loads by changing the resistance values. Electrically conductive composite manufacturing can have huge benefits over the conventional composites primarily used for the military and civilian aircraft and wind turbine blades.
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