Temperature dependency of the toughening capability of electrospun PA66 nanofibers for carbon/epoxy laminates

Milad Saeedifar*, Hamed Saghafi, Reza Mohammadi, Dimitrios Zarouchas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

The present study evaluates the toughening capability of electrospun PA66 nanofibers for carbon/epoxy composite laminates subjected to mode II loading conditions at elevated temperatures. The Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA) test showed that the glass transition temperature of the produced nanofibers is in a range of ∼60–80 °C. Accordingly, End-Notched Flexure (ENF) carbon/epoxy specimens interleaved by a 50 μm-layer of electrospun PA66 nanofibers were subjected to the quasi-static mode II loading at room temperature (∼25 °C), 100 °C, 125 °C, and 160 °C. At room temperature, the mode II interlaminar fracture toughness (GIIC) of the nano-modified specimen was ∼4 times higher than the virgin specimen (non-modified) (3.12 kJ/m2 vs 0.81 kJ/m2). The results showed that GIIC of the virgin specimen was independent of temperature. However, in the case of the nano-modified specimen, although the GIIC did not change from room temperature to 100 °C (3.12 kJ/m2 vs 3.09 kJ/m2), by further increasing temperature to 125 °C and 160 °C, GIIC dropped by 34% and 43% respectively (2.05 kJ/m2 and 1.77 kJ/m2 respectively). 3D surface scans and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) images of the fracture surface revealed three reasons for decreasing the toughening capability of the PA66 nanofibers at high temperatures: a) the crack crosses the nano-layer less at high temperatures, b) the dominant damage mechanism at low temperature is “cohesive failure”, the damage propagation within the nanolayer, while at higher temperatures “adhesive failure”, the debonding of the nanolayer from carbon fibers, plays a critical role in the fracture, and c) severe plastic deformation of nanofibers at high temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109061
Number of pages12
JournalComposites Science and Technology
Volume216
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Electro-spinning
  • Fractography
  • Fracture toughness
  • Nano composites
  • Scanning electron microscopy

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