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High performance hybrid composites

Project overview

Usually, a traditional high performance composite is made by one single type of reinforcement (usually carbon fibre) and polymer matrix, which exhibits high specific strength and stiffness, long fatigue life and high chemical resistance. However, the ductility of this traditional composite is much lower compared with metals. Combining different types of fibres into a polymer matrix to manufacture hybrid composite can significantly improve the ductility of composites. The possible reason for this is that fibre with higher strength acts as a bridge between broken fibres of lower strain to failure. A lot of researchers have studied the mechanical performance of hybrid composites which commonly consist of different fibre yarns or laminae of different materials, but a relatively small amount of research reported in the literature has focused on intimately intermingled hybrid fibre composites, which can achieve a higher failure strain than traditional approaches. Furthermore, compared with carbon fibre /glass fibre hybrids, carbon fibre/carbon fibre hybrids will maintain high mechanical performance as single carbon composite but potentially its ductility could be improved by carefully design of the hybrid configuration. In this project, different carbon fibres will be used as reinforcement with a ductile thermoplastic matrix to manufacture intimately intermingled hybrid composites to achieve a higher ductility than that exhibited conventional single-fibre type composites.

This optimised hybrid should have improved failure strain but maintain its high stiffness and strength compared with single carbon fibre-reinforced composites. This will potentially provide a model for novel high performance composite fibre approaches.

Researcher

Hele Diao
PhD student

Supervisors:
Prof. Alexander Bismarck
Prof. Michael Wisnom
Dr. Paul Robinson 

 

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