In recent years, tremendous research advances have been made in the scientific base for nano materials (e.g. CNT, CNF and Graphene), and this has enabled significant improvements in the technology of carbon nanotube-based composites. The interplay between basic science and engineering has resulted in some of the most exciting accomplishments in the development of multi-functional materials (e.g. mechanical, electrical, and thermal). Incorporation of CNTs into a polymer matrix along with long fibre reinforcements to produce hybrid composites has also attracted significant attention in recent years.
Direct Mixing Solvent Mixing
Experimental set-up for dispersing CNT in epoxy resin using ultrasonicator, infusion process, spray coating are available.
Facilities where this techniques is used
Major mile stones / results of this technique
- To incorporate MWCNT into carbon fiber composites, processability of MWCNT-epoxy-carbon fiber composites through resin infusion technique was evaluated. CNT-epoxy composites were prepared by two different methods; (1) direct mixing and (2) solvent mixing. SEM analysis found that, dispersion of CNT in direct mixing sample was not uniform as compared with solvent mixing sample. Furthermore, it was found that viscosity increases with CNT concentration and resin infusion with CNT concentration more than 1 wt.% was found to be difficult.
- Surface coating technique was developed using aircraft grade epoxy primer and a thinner solvent. Using solvent mixing method, it was possible to achieve CNT dispersion up to 30 wt.% in the primer.
- The effect of addition of CNT was used to increase the viscosity of epoxy resin system (RTM6) in a desired manner to optimise the total cure cycle. Towards this, several sets of viscosity experiments with and without CNT were conducted to arrive at an optimal viscosity profile. The total cure cycle duration arrived by the optimization of viscosity profile using CNT was found to be economical.