Multi-wall carbon nanotube (MWNT) added carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) and thin-ply composites are suggested as solutions to improve resistance against low earth orbit (LEO) environment and mechanical properties. Accelerated ground simulation experiments were performed for CFRP, MWNT reinforced CFRP, thin-ply CFRP and MWNT reinforced thin-ply CFRP. The used ground simulation facility can simulate high vacuum, atomic oxygen, ultraviolet (UV) light and thermal cycling simultaneously. The aging experiment was performed for 20 h. After the aging experiment, total mass loss (TML) and tensile properties were measured. As a result, by applying thin-ply thickness and MWNT fillers, the tensile strength was improved at ground conditions. Under an LEO space environment, while thin-ply composites cannot relieve the degradation rate, the composites with MWNT can do so. Highly improved tensile strength was observed by simultaneously applying the thin-ply techniques and MWNT under both LEO aged and LEO non-aged conditions. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
J. - B. Moon, Kim, M. - G., Kim, C. - G., and Shantanu Bhowmik, “Improvement of tensile properties of CFRP composites under LEO space environment by applying MWNTs and thin-ply”, Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, vol. 42, pp. 694–701, 2011.