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Incorporation of graphene thin films into the carbon fiber reinforced composite via 3d composite concept against the lightning strikes on composite aircraft
Ashok Kumar, Sachin Sharma
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Research and development of graphene and graphene based materials have been increasing significantly since they were invented. This report presents the development of a highly conductive graphene thin film (GTF) to reduce the damage of lightning effects on composite aircrafts. Furthermore, there are three new developments that are presented in this research: (a) the development of a highly conductive functionalized nanosize GTF, (b) a new approach of incorporating the GTF into the carbon fiber reinforced composite panel, and (c) a new development of 3D stitching concept were introduced specifically using polyester threads instead of fiber yarns that can be useful for the applications of aircraft protections against the effects of lightning strike. In addition, graphene was chemically functionalized and oxidized to form GTF. The highest electrical conductivity measured on the GTF was approximately 1800 S/cm. Furthermore, the GTF was then incorporated into the carbon fiber reinforced composite. Delamination was observed between the GTF and the composite. To investigate this issue, the composite was mechanically tested and there was a 40% decrease in tensile strength compared to the baseline. Therefore, 3D stitching concept was then introduced to reduce the delamination. Four stitch configurations having different stitch length, thread to thread thickness, thread tension, and thread thickness respectively were used in this study. 3D stitching was initially done on six sheets of unidirectional prepreg, MTM45-1 without the incorporation of GTF. Furthermore, mechanical testing was carried out and the stitch configuration that delivered the most appropriate result was then further used on twelve sheets of unidirectional prepreg, 5320. Here, three samples which was the baseline, 5320 with and without the incorporation of GTF respectively were prepared and mechanically tested, and the strength values were observed.
Thesis (M.S.)--Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering