A novel approach to fabricate high volume fraction nanocomposites with long aligned carbon nanotubes

Philip D. Bradford, Xin Wang, Haibo Zhao, Jon Paul Maria, Quanxi Jia, Y. T. Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

142 Scopus citations


Conventional micro-fiber-reinforced composites provide insight into critical structural features needed for obtaining maximum composite strength and stiffness: the reinforcements should be long, well aligned in a unidirectional orientation, and should have a high reinforcement volume fraction. It has long been a challenge for researchers to process CNT composites with such structural features. Here we report a method to quickly produce macroscopic CNT composites with a high volume fraction of millimeter long, well aligned CNTs. Specifically, we use the novel method, shear pressing, to process tall, vertically aligned CNT arrays into dense aligned CNT preforms, which are subsequently processed into composites. Alignment was confirmed through SEM analysis while a CNT volume fraction in the composites was calculated to be 27%, based on thermogravimetric analysis data. Tensile testing of the preforms and composites showed promising mechanical properties with tensile strengths reaching 400. MPa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1980-1985
Number of pages6
JournalComposites Science and Technology
Issue number13
StatePublished - Nov 1 2010


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Engineering(all)

Cite this