Impact resistance and interlaminar shear strength enhancement of carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites by introducing MWCNT-anchored carbon fiber
Nano-fillers such as multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) are incorporated into composites to improve their mechanical and electrical properties; however, MWCNTs are not applicable to carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic polymer composites (CFRTPs) due to the high viscosity and melting temperature of the thermoplastic resin. In this study, mass-producible MWCNT-anchored carbon fiber was developed and applied as a novel incorporation into CFRTPs. Functional groups were introduced on the MWCNTs and carbon fiber through acid and flame treatments, respectively, and were anchored by the esterification reaction of a coupling agent. The tensile strength, Izod impact resistance and interlaminar shear strength (ILSS) of MWCNT-anchored CFRTPs were investigated. An optimum concentration of and process method for MWCNT anchoring were suggested based on the results of this work. The anchored MWCNTs increased the interfacial bonding between the PA6 matrix and carbon fiber without increasing the viscosity of the thermoplastic resin. As a results, the impact resistance and ILSS of the CFRTPs were significantly improved by the anchored MWCNTs on the carbon fiber.