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Reinforcing composites with the novel SP1/CNT solution

News International-French

26 Feb 2014

JEC Europe 2014 - Optimum adhesion between fibres and matrices is a key factor in composite materials and therefore crucial for the mechanical performance of these materials.

Composite architectures with carbon nanotubes (CNTs), either dispersed within the resin or bound to the fibres, have the potential to meet this challenge. However, effective reinforcement of composites using CNTs is difficult, due to poor dispersion of the CNTs in the matrix and insufficient interfacial stress transfer, and costly.

Fulcrum SP materials has developed an innovative and cost-effective technology to improve adhesion between fibres and matrices by engineering the exceptionally stable protein SP1 to display 12 graphite binding peptides, thus enabling it to disperse CNTs by forming a stable SP1/CNT complex.

A successful approach was to attach the SP1/CNT complex to carbon, glass, aramid or polyester fibres, by a simple exhaustion mechanism, in order to increase the interlaminar fracture toughness of composites made of such coated fibres. This remarkably improved the interlaminar shear strength and through-thickness tensile strength of the SP1/CNT reinforced composites.

Homogenous dispersion of the SP1/CNT complex in epoxy resin facilitates efficient load transfer and crack arrest by the SP1/CNT particles, resulting in improved peel and shear strengths as well.

Booth: Q77