Mechanical Engineering Faculty Research


Mechanical Behavior of Self-Assembled Carbon Nanotube Reinforced Nylon 6,6 Fibers”

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The versatile electrospinning technique was used to successfully align and disperse multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) in nylon 6,6 matrix to obtain composite fibers. The morphology of the composite fibers and the dispersion of the CNTs within the fibers were analyzed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), respectively. TEM analysis revealed that the CNTs were well-dispersed, separated and aligned along the fiber axis. The thermal and mechanical properties of the composite fibers were characterized as a function of weight fraction of the CNTs. Incorporation of the CNTs in the fibers resulted in an increase in glass-transition temperature (Tg) by ∼7 °C, indicating that the addition of CNTs has restricted the mobility of the polymer chains and provided confinement to neighboring molecular chains. Tensile and nanoindentation experiments were performed to investigate the mechanical deformation behavior of the composite fibers. The results suggested that incorporation of high strength and high aspect ratio CNTs into the fiber matrix enhanced significantly the stiffness and strength of nylon 6,6 fibers. An understanding of the structure–property relationships can provide fruitful insights to develop electrospun fibers with superior properties for miniaturized and load-bearing applications.

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Composites Science and Technology





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