Title: THERMAL PERFORMANCE AND INTERPLY BONDING OF BORON NITRIDE NANOTUBE/CARBON FIBER HYBRID COMPOSITES
Authors: Aspen N. Reyes, Mehul Tank, Mitesh Patadia, Rebekah Sweat
Abstract: High-temperature composite materials are exceedingly crucial in applications such as hypersonic and reentry vehicles due to large heat fluxes and a high degree of aerodynamic heating. Ceramics and metal alloys are used currently but can exhibit high densities, inadequate oxidation, thermal shock, and impact resistance. A combination of extreme thermal stability, high thermal conductivity, and excellent mechanical properties make boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) an attractive nanofiller in integrated and structural high-temperature applications. In this study, hybrids with unidirectional carbon fiber (CF) and BNNT layers with a toughened epoxy matrix were manufactured via autoclaving. A BNNT inter-ply hybrid containing alternating CF and BNNT layers was prepared. BNNTs have excellent interfacial bonding with matrices; therefore, they can act as a pseudo-reinforcement in the z-direction, similar to stitching. Three-point bend and short beam shear mechanical testing were performed to evaluate the interlaminar strength of the interlayer hybrid composite. Post-test fracture analysis and crack propagation reveal excellent BNNT adhesion. Thermal diffusivity performance showed consistent improvement across the temperature range up to 150°C. Ultimately, hybrid BNNT/CF composites are promising candidates for lightweight, delamination-resistant high-temperature applications.
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