Novel Material and Manufacturing Method of Three-Dimensional Multi-Reinforced Composites
Fiber reinforced composites are desirable for structural applications because long fibers, such as carbon fibers, can help prevent brittle failure in structural materials. Fiber reinforced composites are limited by relatively low strength and toughness and lack of thermal/ electrical transport functionality. 3D fiber-reinforced composites made of carbon nanotubes are commonly created using chemical vapor deposition to grow nanotubes and fibers. The method of chemical vapor deposition can damage the strength and structure of carbon nanotubes, deteriorating desirable properties. There is a need for stronger fiber reinforced composites and a new method to create these composites that will not affect the structure.
Dr. Cheryl Xu developed a novel 3D composite with improved mechanical strength and thermal and electrical properties with an easy manufacturing process. These novel composites are made up of one or multiple sheets with carbon fibers woven in orthogonal direction bundles with carbon nanotubes embedded within the pores between the bundles. The composites demonstrate a remarkable improvement to mechanical strength and thermal and electrical conductivities when compared to composites created using chemical vapor deposition. The novel method to create this fiber reinforced composite does not involve any chemical reaction, and therefore does not affect the structural integrity. The manufacturing method is low cost and materializes 3D composite structures without altering the long fiber sheet.
- Improved mechanical strength
- Increased thermal and electrical conductivities
- Low cost manufacturing method
- Does not involve any chemical reaction
- Creates 3D sheets without altering the long fiber sheet