Improved mechanical performance of three-dimensional woven glass/epoxy spacer composites with carbon nanotubes
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CitationYildirim, F., Aydin, M., & Avci, A. (2021). Improved mechanical performance of three-dimensional woven glass/epoxy spacer composites with carbon nanotubes. Journal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites, 40(13-14), 533-549. doi:10.1177/0731684421990893
Three-dimensional polymer composites offer various features and design options due to their hollow structure and lightweight. However, to exploit their advantages, it is a must to improve their structural features and mechanical performances including out-plane direction. Although introducing thermoplastic fillers between the plies or multilayered design addresses on this critical issue, the benefits offered by the nanoparticles with superior mechanical properties come a step forward as an another engineering solution. Based on this motivation, the goal of this study is to investigate the impact of multiwalled carbon nanotubes on the mechanical and thermomechanical performances of three-dimensional woven glass/epoxy spacer composites. Therefore, multiwalled carbon nanotubes at various content were introduced into epoxy matrix, and the multiwalled carbon nanotubes–epoxy mixture was infused to three-dimensional woven fabric with the vacuum-assisted resin transfer method. The obtained results indicated that the three-point bending strength and modulus were enhanced up to 25 and 80% for warp direction and enhanced up to 44 and 85% for weft direction with carbon nanotube addition, respectively. Tensile strength developed in the warp direction by 7%, while the strength value in the weft direction did not change. The tensile strain values for warp and weft directions enhanced up to 19 and 12% with carbon nanotube addition, respectively. In addition, thermomechanical analysis has revealed that the glass transition temperature and storage modulus were also improved. Particle dispersion detection with color measurement and scanning electron microscopy analyses revealed the effectiveness of the ultrasonic mixing on the dispersion of carbon nanotubes in the epoxy matrix. The consequences of carbon nanotube addition on microscale morphology were discussed based on the fracture morphologies to nanoscale and microscale toughening mechanisms in the existence of carbon nanotube reinforcement.