Polymer Engineering Faculty Research


Mechanical Properties of Electrospun Carbon Nano Fiber (ECNF)/Epoxy Nanocomposites

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

Fall 2007


Electrospun polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fiber precursor based Carbon Nanofiber (CNF) mats were produced and impregnated with epoxy resin. The mechanical properties of as-prepared nanofibers in the mat and short fiber filled epoxy nanocomposite forms were determined to demonstrate the effect of fiber aspect ratio and interconnecting network on those properties. Our experimental results reveal that epoxy nanocomposites containing Electrospun Carbon Nano Fibers (ECNF) with high fiber aspect ratio and high interconnecting network in the non-woven mat form yield better mechanical properties than those filled with short ECNFs. The ECNF mat in epoxy nanocomposites provides better homogeneity, more interlocking network, and easier preparation than short ECNFs. Mechanical properties of ECNF mat-epoxy nanocomposites, which we obtained using tensile and flexural tests, such as stiffness and modulus increased, while toughness and flexural strength decreased, compared to the neat epoxy resin. Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA) results showed, higher modulus for ECNF mat-epoxy nanocomposites, compared to those for neat epoxy resin and short ECNF-epoxy nanocomposites. The epoxy nanocomposites had high modulus, even though the glass transition temperature, Tg values dropped at some extents of ECNF mat contents when compared with the neat epoxy resin. The cure reaction was retarded since the amount of epoxy and hardener decreased at high ECNF contents together with the hindering effect of the ECNF mat to the diffusion of epoxy resin and curing agent, leading to low crosslinking efficiency.

Publication Title

ASME 2007 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference