15th European Conference on Composite Materials pages:1-7
European Conference on Composite Materials
European Conference on Composite Materials edition:15 location:Venice, Italy date:24-28 June 2012
The dispersion of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in epoxy resins that are to be used as a matrix
material in fiber-reinforced composites is commonly targeted to be homogeneous and free of
agglomerates. In the present paper we report experimental observations, showing that the
uniform distribution of CNTs in fiber-reinforced composites is not necessarily a desired
feature. The study was performed on a woven glass fiber composite produced using resin
transfer moulding. Two different localization states of CNTs were achieved by choosing
matrices with different dispersion qualities. For the resin with large agglomerates, CNTs
tended to localize in the resin rich zones, while for the resin with smaller agglomerates, CNTs
were somewhat homogeneously distributed in a composite. The CNT distribution/localization
showed to influence the strain-to-failure of a composite and the density of transverse cracks.
The composite with localized CNTs in the resin rich zones had a higher strain-to-failure (by
12%) and lower crack density (by 29%) in comparison with the virgin composite.