Enhanced interlaminar fracture toughness of CF/PEEK laminates by interleaving CNT-decorated PEEK films

XK Wang and W Jiang and Q He and C Chen and MH Zhang and ZG Huang and HM Zhou, POLYMER TESTING, 126, 108159 (2023).

DOI: 10.1016/j.polymertesting.2023.108159

The weak interlaminar properties severely hinder the high-property applications of carbon fiber (CF) reinforced thermoplastic composites. Here, interlaminar properties were significantly enhanced by introducing carbon nanotube (CNT) decorated polyether ether ketone (PEEK) films into the interlayer. PEEK films decorated with different CNT contents were fabricated by the spraying and thermoforming processes. Tensile test results show that the films with a CNT surface density of 45 mg/m2 exhibit superior tensile strength and Young's modulus due to the higher crystallinity and larger crystalline size. The introduction of this modified film into unidirectional CF reinforced PEEK laminates leads to an increase by 101% to 1.67 kJ/m2 in interlaminar fracture toughness, while the interlaminar shear strength is retained. Fractographic analysis reveals that the increase in interlayer resin content and crack path deflection are primary factors contributing to interlaminar toughening. Molecular dynamics simulation demonstrates that incorporating CNT in the interlayer resin significantly improved the interfacial bonding strength between fiber and resin, thus resulting in crack path deflection.

Return to Publications page