Oluwaseun Omole

Major: Motorsports Engineering
School of Engineering and Technology

Comparative Study of Electrospun Epoxy-Nanofiller Nanofibers in Structural Applications

Carbon fiber is a material that is revolutionizing the world and has gained tremendous attention in a variety of structural applications within industries such as the aerospace and aeronautical industry. Due to the recent popularity of carbon fiber, there have been many attempts to increase the strengths of this material. However, finding an affordable and efficient way to optimize high strength carbon fiber has been difficult for many others to achieve. A significant reason for this is that carbon fiber tends to experience delamination during manufacturing which causes composites to deform. By changing the chemistry of the fibers on the macro scale, better results of mechanical strength can be achieved. Previously it was demonstrated that electrospinning of Carbon Nanotubes (CNT) and epoxy onto carbon fiber produced enhancements up to 21% of the flexural strength. For this article, other nanofillers like Carbon Nanofibers (CNF), Carbon Nanocellulose Crystals (CNC), and graphene were electrospun along with epoxy to determine if even more significant results could be achieved through the use of nanofiller reinforcement. By using the Universal Testing Machine, it was determined that the short beam shear (SBS) strength of the CFRP laminates electrospun with epoxy-CNT, graphene and CNC increased by 23.3%, 17.6%, and 9.28% relative to the control.