Embedding Carbon Nanotubes Sensors into Carbon Fiber Laminates

University essay from KTH/Materialvetenskap

Abstract: The use of Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composite materials in structural applications has increased in the past decades in high­performance sectors, such as in the automotive and aeronautic industries, for weight reduction purposes. However, FRP composite materials can offer more significant innovation potential. The application of CNTs in conjunction with composite material can allow the creation of multifunctional materials, relying on FRP for the structural side and CNT for the sensing ability. In this master thesis, the embedment of a Vertical Aligned Carbon Nanotube (VACNT) layer into the interlaminar region of Carbon Fibre (CF) laminates to provide polyvalent sensing ability to the material was investigated. In order to obtain accurate results, the sensor had to be isolated from the rest of the laminate. For this reason, the main problem to be solved in this project was the electrical isolation on the CNT layer and its contacts from the layers of CF laminate. This study aims to find a suitable isolation technique in order to apply the CNT sensor technology, developed in previous studies, into CF laminate. Although thought for aerospace applications, these sensors could be applied to different structural components in various fields.

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