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High-performance thermoplastic polyaryletherketone/carbon fiber composites: Comparison of plasma, carbon nanotubes/graphene nano-anchoring, surface oxidation techniques for enhanced interface adhesion and properties

Publication Type : Journal Article

Publisher : Composites Part B : Engineering

Url :

Campus : Coimbatore

School : School of Engineering

Year : 2023

Abstract : This investigation highlights the development and performance comparison of carbon fiber (CF)-polyaryletherketone (PAEK) thermoplastic laminates prepared using CF, surface-modified with plasma, multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT), graphene, acid, and rare earth elements. Analysis of surface-treated CF by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) revealed development of functional groups and changes in elemental composition on the CF surface. Significant lowering of contact angle and improvement in wettability was achieved by plasma and MWCNT/graphene treatment on CF. Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) analysis gave insight into the surface irregularities caused by various surface treatment techniques. The CF-PAEK composites were prepared by film stacking and compression moulding. The plasma-treated PAEK-CF composites exhibited the highest tensile properties, flexural strength, fracture toughness, and interlaminar shear strength. The superior properties are credited to better interfacial adhesion between CF and PAEK arising from mechanical interlocking over the roughened surface and covalent bonds by functional groups grafted on CF surface by plasma. MWCNT and graphene-anchored CF-PAEK composites also showed significant improvement in mechanical properties attributed to the bridging effect and interfacial interaction arising from increased surface area and functional groups. The surface-treated CF-PAEK composites exhibited a positive shift in the glass transition temperature, which is evidence of better adhesion. In dynamic loading conditions, MWCNT anchored CF-PAEK composite presented the highest storage modulus and energy absorption characteristics. Examination of the tensile fracture surface and fiber pull-out gave insight into the failure pattern and interfacial adhesion mechanism for the individual surface modification techniques.

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