Aligned carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are implemented into alumina-fiber reinforced laminates, and enhanced mass-specific thermal and electrical conductivities are observed. Electrical conductivity enhancement is useful for electrostatic discharge and sensing applications, and is used here for both electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding and deicing. CNTs were grown directly on individual fibers in woven cloth plies, and maintained their alignment during the polymer (epoxy) infiltration used to create laminates. Using multiple complementary methods, non-isotropic electrical and thermal conductivities of these hybrid composites were thoroughly characterized as a function of CNT volume/mass fraction. DC and AC electrical conductivity measurements demonstrate high electrical conductivity of >100. S/m (at 3% volume fraction, ∼1.5% weight fraction, of CNTs) that can be used for multifunctional applications such as de-icing and electromagnetic shielding. The thermal conductivity enhancement (∼1. W/m. K) suggests that carbon-fiber based laminates can significantly benefit from aligned CNTs. Application of such new nano-engineered, multi-scale, multi-functional CNT composites can be extended to system health monitoring with electrical or thermal resistance change induced by damage, fire-resistant structures among other multifunctional attributes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ceramics and Composites