Vertically Aligned ZnO Nanowire Interleave for Enhanced Interlaminar Strength
Agency / Branch:
DOD / NAVY
The proposed Phase I research effort will develop a novel technique to place vertically aligned ZnO nanowires in the interlaminar region of fiber reinforced composites. It is widely accepted that the interlaminar region of a composite presents one of the most challenging failure mechanisms to address. The aligned nanowires will be transferred to the tacky prepreg and used to provide out-of-plane reinforcement, crack bridging and control of the bond line thickness. The Co-PI recently demonstrated that ZnO nanowires grown on the surface of reinforcing fibers provided up to 3.5 times increase in interfacial strength while maintaining the fiber strength and increasing the composite strength. Based on our earlier findings we anticipate this technology will lead to significantly greater interlaminar strength while maintaining the in-plane properties. Our proposed methods are low cost, environmentally benign, compatible with prepreg processing, can be extended to a production-scale and do not require any advanced tooling or resin transfer processes. At the conclusion of the Phase 1 effort we will demonstrate the performance of the proposed technology and begin developing a commercial product. With the significant growth of the composites industry fueled by composite commercial aircraft we anticipate the resulting technology will have substantial commercialization potential.
Small Business Information at Submission:
1716 South Sycamore Mesa, AZ 85202
Number of Employees: