Bioinspired Hard–Soft Interface Management for Superior Performance in Carbon Fibre Composites 

Vol. 24,  No. 9, pp. 3279-3288, Sep.  2023


Nature has evolved to create materials of unmatched performance governed by the interfacial interactions between hard and soft surfaces. Typically, in a carbon fibre composite, one polymer and one type of carbon fibre is used throughout a laminate. In this work, we use a carbon fibre surface modification approach to vary the fibre–matrix interface throughout the laminate to tailor the soft–hard interfaces. We demonstrate this effect using reclaimed carbon fibre materials in a thermoset polymer, then extend this concept to a thermoplastic polymer matrix–polypropylene. The thermoset specimens examined in this work consist of 5 carbon fibre plies, featuring 0, 1, 3 or 5 surface-modified layers located at the centre of the composite. The largest improvements in physical properties for these composites (yield strength, ultimate flexural strength, and tensile modulus) were found when only 1 modified layer of carbon fibre was placed directly within the centre of the composite. Subsequent investigations revealed that for a polypropylene matrix, where the surface chemistry is tailored specifically for polypropylene, improvements are also observed when mixed surface chemistries are used. This work shows that surface modification of reclaimed carbon fibres as non-woven mats can provide significant improvements in mechanical properties performance for structural composites when used in strategically advantageous locations throughout the composite.

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  Cite this article

[IEEE Style]

B. Newman, J. D. Randall, R. J. Varley, F. Stojcevski, L. C. Henderson, "Bioinspired Hard–Soft Interface Management for Superior Performance in Carbon Fibre Composites," Fibers and Polymers, vol. 24, no. 9, pp. 3279-3288, 2023. DOI: 10.1007/s12221-023-00265-x.

[ACM Style]

Ben Newman, James D. Randall, Russell J. Varley, Filip Stojcevski, and Luke C. Henderson. 2023. Bioinspired Hard–Soft Interface Management for Superior Performance in Carbon Fibre Composites. Fibers and Polymers, 24, 9, (2023), 3279-3288. DOI: 10.1007/s12221-023-00265-x.