Effective formulation and processing of nanofilled carbon fiber reinforced composites
This work describes a successful approach toward the development of a carbon fiber-reinforced composite based on an optimized nanofilled resin for industrial applications. The epoxy matrix is prepared by mixing a tetrafunctional epoxy precursor with a reactive diluent which allows reduction of the viscosity of the epoxy precursor and facilitation of the dispersion of 0.5% wt multiwall carbon nanotubes. The proper choice of the viscosity value and the infusion technique allow improvement of the electrical properties of the panels. The obtained in-plane electrical conductivity is about 20 kS m−1, whereas a value of 3.9 S m−1 is achieved for the out of plane value. Such results confirm that the fibers govern the conduction mechanisms in the direction parallel to the fibers, whereas the percolating path created by the effective distribution of carbon nanotubes achieved by resin formulation and adopted processing approach lead to a significant enhancement of the overall electrical performance of the composites.