Electrospun Fibers for Composites Applications

Report No. ARL-TR-6800
Authors: Joshua A. Orlicki; Joshua Steele; André A. Williams; George R. Martin; Eugene Napadensky; B. Leighliter
Date/Pages: February 2014; 38 pages
Abstract: A series of oriented electrospun nylon fibers were prepared with nominal fiber diameters of either 300 nm or 1 mm. In addition, a series of similar mats were prepared that contained a hyperbranched polymer additive to act as a surface modifier for the fibers. The mats were used as reinforcements for epoxy composites. The composite coupons were interrogated using techniques such as dynamic mechanical analysis and tensile testing. While the nanofibers did not dramatically stiffen the resulting composites, they provided insight as to the impact of the additives on the interaction of the fibers with the composite matrix. The inclusion of the additive appeared to improve interfacial interactions of the fibers with the matrix, as reduced void content and uniform fracture interfaces were observed in the modified composites. While the low production rate of suitable fiber mats for this study limited the scope and accessibility of test specimens, the results from the examination of fiber-matrix interfaces argues for further investigation.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: February 1, 2014