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Fabrication and Characterization of Ultrahigh-Volume- Fraction Aligned Carbon Nanotube–Polymer Composites

Authors

  • Brian L. Wardle,

    Corresponding author
    1. Departments of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Chemical Engineering Massachusetts Institute of Technology 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (USA)
    • Departments of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Chemical Engineering Massachusetts Institute of Technology 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (USA).===

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  • Diego S. Saito,

    1. Departments of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Chemical Engineering Massachusetts Institute of Technology 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (USA)
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  • Enrique J. García,

    1. Departments of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Chemical Engineering Massachusetts Institute of Technology 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (USA)
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  • A. John Hart,

    1. Departments of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Chemical Engineering Massachusetts Institute of Technology 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (USA)
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  • Roberto Guzmán de Villoria,

    1. Departments of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Chemical Engineering Massachusetts Institute of Technology 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (USA)
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  • Eric A. Verploegen

    1. Departments of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Chemical Engineering Massachusetts Institute of Technology 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (USA)
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  • This work was supported by Airbus S.A.S., Boeing, Embraer, Lockheed Martin, Saab AB, Spirit AeroSystems, and Textron Inc. through MIT's Nano-Engineered Composite aerospace STructures (NECST) Consortium. The authors gratefully acknowledge Dr. Myounggu Park (Univ. of Michigan), Namiko Yamamoto (MIT), and Hulya Cebeci (MIT) for valuable input into this manuscript. The authors thank John Kane and the entire Technology Laboratory for Advanced Materials and Structures (TELAMS) at MIT for technical support, Richard Schalek at the Center for Nanoscale Systems at Harvard Univ. and Patrick Boisvert at the Center for Materials Science and Engineering at MIT for SEM & TEM imaging assistance, Hexcel Corp. for providing resin, and the staff and facilities of the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) which is supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of General Medical Sciences under award DMR-0225180.

Abstract

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Aligned CNT nanocomposites with variable volume fraction, up to 20%, are demonstrated. Biaxial mechanical densification of aligned CNT forests, followed by capillarity-driven wetting using unmodified aerospace-grade polymers, creates centimeter-scale specimens. Characterizations confirm CNT alignment and dispersion in the thermosets, providing a useful platform for controlled nanoscale interaction and nanocomposite property studies that emphasize anisotropy.

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