Hybrid nanoreinforced carbon/epoxy composites for enhanced damage tolerance and fatigue life

Joel S. Fenner, Isaac M. Daniel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Hybrid nano/microcomposites with a nanoparticle reinforced matrix were developed, manufactured, and tested showing significant enhancements in damage tolerance properties. A woven carbon fiber reinforced polymer composite, with the polymer (epoxy) matrix reinforced with well dispersed carbon nanotubes, was produced using dispersant-and-sonication based methods and a wet lay-up process. Various interlaminar damage tolerance properties of this composite, including static strength, fracture toughness, fatigue life, and crack growth rates were examined experimentally and compared with similarly-processed reference material produced without nanoreinforcement. Significant improvements were obtained in interlaminar shear strength (20%), fracture toughness (180%), shear fatigue life (order of magnitude), and fatigue crack growth rate (factor of 2). Observations by scanning electron microscopy of failed specimens showed significant differences in fracture surface morphology between the two materials, related to the differences in properties and providing context for understanding of the enhancement mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-56
Number of pages10
JournalComposites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • A. Polymer-matrix composites
  • B. Damage tolerance
  • Carbon nanotubes
  • D. Mechanical Testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials

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