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Novel continuous carbon and ceramic nanofibers and nanocomposites

Yongkui Wen, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

Manufacturing of carbon nanofibers from PAN precursor is described in Chapter 2 of the dissertation. The electrospun nanofibers were continuous, uniform in diameter, and the samples didn't contain impurities, unlike carbon nanotubes or vapor grown carbon fibers. Systematic studies on the electrospinning parameters showed that nanofiber diameter could be varied in a range of 80 to 1800 nm. XRD studies on the carbon nanofibers fired at different temperatures showed that higher temperature resulted in better nanostructure. Fracture-free random carbon nanofiber sheets were produced by stretch-stabilization and carbonization for the first time. ^ Toughening effects of random as-spun PAN, stabilized PAN, and carbon nanofibers on Mode I and Mode II interlaminar fracture of advanced carbon-epoxy composites were examined by DCB and ENF tests respectively in Chapter 3. The results showed that the interlaminar fracture toughness increased the most with carbon nanofiber reinforcement. 200% improvement in Mode I fracture toughness and 60% in Mode II fracture toughness were achieved with a minimum increase of weight. SEM fractographic analysis showed nanofiber pullout and crack bridging as the main nanomechanisms of toughening. ^ Chapter 4 describes manufacturing of aligned carbon nanofibers and nanocomposites by a modified electrospinning technique. Constant-load stretch-stabilization was applied on carbon nanofibers for the first time. Analysis showed that mechanical properties of nanofibers and nanocomposites improved with stretch-stabilization and alignment of carbon nanofibers. ^ Nanofabrication of ceramic 3Al2O3-2SiO2, SiO2-TiO2 nanofibers by a novel combination of sol-gel and electrospinning techniques invented recently at UNL is described in Chapters 5. The 3Al2O3-2SiO2, SiO2-TiO 2 nanofibers were continuous, non circular in cross section and had crystalline structure after high temperature calcination. Effects of the process parameters on their geometry and structure were studied. ^ In Chapter 6, ZrO2 nanofibers were prepared using commercial and novel polymer-containing sol-gel precursors. The ZrO2 nanofibers were continuous, circular in cross section, and had diameters as small as 80 mn. Aligned ZrO2 nanofibers were prepared using newly developed polymer containing composite precursor for the first time. The possibility of nanomanufacturing of nanocrystalline continuous nanofibers was demonstrated. ^ The results of this dissertation will have an impact in the field of high performance fibers and nanocomposites. This study is expected to catalyze research on advanced continuous nanofibers and may pave way for consideration of continuous advanced electrospun nanofibers as reinforcement in the next generation nanocomposites. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)^

Subject Area

Engineering, Materials Science

Recommended Citation

Wen, Yongkui, "Novel continuous carbon and ceramic nanofibers and nanocomposites" (2004). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3176808.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3176808

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