Duration: 2007 –
Polymer-based composite materials are widely used in applications in which they have a structural role, in many different sectors such as aerospace, automotive and machinery in general, as well as in civil engineering. In these cases it is very important to have the possibility of detecting the presence of strain accumulation and even the presence of any damages.
The use of techniques that exploit electrical properties of the composite to monitor damage has been recognized as a non-invasive way in carbon fiber reinforced plastic, since the good electrical conductivity of carbon fibers themselves.
Nonetheless, this approach does not provide information on the causes of the fractures involving the matrix and the fiber-matrix interface, and moreover, it can not be employed with non-conducting fibers, e.g. glass or aramid.
In this study, thermosetting resins (both epoxy and polyester) are doped with carbon nanofibers and carbon nanotubes, in order to get a matrix with enhanced electrical conductivity for the production of a glass fiber reinforced composite, which are produced by mean of resin transfer molding and vacuum infusion techniques