Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Thermal Properties of Hybrid Carbon Nanotube/Carbon Fiber Polymer Composites

JIN HO KANG, ROBERTO CANO, HOA LUONG, JAMES RATCLIFFE, BRIAN GRIMSLEY and EMILIE SIOCHI

Abstract


Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites possess many advantages for aircraft structures over conventional aluminum alloys: light weight, higher strengthand stiffness-to-weight ratio, and low life-cycle maintenance costs. However, the relatively low thermal and electrical conductivities of CFRP composites are deficient in providing structural safety under certain operational conditions such as lightning strikes. One possible solution to these issues is to interleave carbon nanotube (CNT) sheets between conventional carbon fiber (CF) composite layers. However, the thermal and electrical properties of the orthotropic hybrid CNT/CF composites have not been fully understood. In this study, hybrid CNT/CF polymer composites were fabricated by interleaving layers of CNT sheets with Hexcel® IM7/8852 prepreg. The CNT sheets were infused with a 5% solution of a compatible epoxy resin prior to composite fabrication. Orthotropic thermal and electrical conductivities of the hybrid polymer composites were evaluated. The interleaved CNT sheets improved the in-plane thermal conductivity of the hybrid composite laminates by about 400% and the electrical conductivity by about 3 orders of magnitude.

Full Text:

PDF