Poly(m-phenylene isophtalamide) electrospun nanofibrous membranes were produced to be used as structural reinforcements for carbon fiber reinforced composites production. In order for the polymer to be electrospun, it needs however to be fully solubilized, so the addition of some salts is required to help disrupt the tight macromolecular packing based on intra- and inter-molecular hydrogen bonding. Such salts may also contribute to the electrospinnability of the overall solution, since the provide it with a higher conductivity, whatever the solvent might be. The salt haobwever stays in the final nanofibrous mat. The membranes containing the salt are also observed to be highly hygroscopic, with a water content up to 26%, in the presence of 20%wt LiCl in the nanofibrous mat. When those membranes were interleaved among prepregs to produce a laminates, the obtained composite displayed thermal properties comparable to those of a reference nanofiber-free composite, though the former showed also easier delamination. Hence the removal of the hygroscopic salt was performed, that lead to thinner membranes, whose water content matched that of the pristine polymer. The washing step induced a thinning of the layers and of the fibers diameters, though no fiber shrinking nor membrane macroscopic damages were observed. These preliminary encouraging results thus pave the way to a deeper study of the optimized condition for producing convenient poly(m-phenylene isophtalamide) electrospun nanofibrous membranes to be used for carbon fiber reinforced composites structural modification.
Poly-m-aramid nanofiber mats: Production for application as structural modifiers in CFRP laminates
Laura Mazzocchetti, Emanuele D’Angelo, Tiziana Benelli, Juri Belcari, Tommaso Maria Brugo, Andrea Zucchelli, Loris Giorgini; Poly-m-aramid nanofiber mats: Production for application as structural modifiers in CFRP laminates. AIP Conf. Proc. 18 May 2016; 1736 (1): 020016. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4949591
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