The excellent mechanical properties of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) make them the ideal reinforcements for high performance composites. The misalignment and waviness of CNTs within composites are two major issues that limit the reinforcing efficiency. We report an effective method to increase the strength and stiffness of high volume fraction, aligned CNT composites by reducing CNT waviness using a drawing and stretching approach. Stretching the composites after fabrication improved the ultimate strength by 50%, 150%, and 190% corresponding to stretch ratios of 2%, 4% and 7%, respectively. Improvement of the electrical conductivities exhibited a similar trend. These results demonstrate the importance of straightening and aligning CNTs in improving the composite strength and electrical conductivity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ceramics and Composites