The geometrical features of nanofibers, such as nanomat thickness and the diameter of nanofibers, have a significant influence on the toughening behavior of composite laminates. In this study, carbon/epoxy laminates were interleaved with polysulfone (PSF) nanofibrous mats and the effect of the PSF nanomat thickness on the fracture toughness was considered for the first time. For this goal, the nanofibers were first produced by the electrospinning method. Then, double cantilever beam (DCB) specimens were manufactured, and mode-I fracture tests were conducted. The results showed that enhancing the mat thickness could increase the fracture toughness considerably (to about 87% with the maximum thickness). The toughening mechanism was also considered by presenting a schematic picture. Micrographs were taken using a scanning electron microscope (SEM).
- Mode-I fracture toughness
- PSF nanofibers