Carbon Nanofiber Reinforced Polymers
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC
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Advanced defense platforms increasingly demand lighter-weight and higher-performing materials. The benefits of lightweight structural components are apparent in the form of increased fuel efficiency, improved mobility, and so on however, savings in component weight must not come at the expense of functional performance. Whereas aluminum and titanium alloys can be used to reduce weight in many structural applications, even greater weight savings are possible through the use of high-strength polymer composites. The current thrust of our research is to determine the potential benefits of hierarchical structuring to achieve better functional performance. Hierarchical structuring is common in biological material e.g., nacre, tendon, bone, and wood, yet the general principles and mechanisms by which hierarchical structuring influences functional performance is poorly understood. In this investigation, we examine the structural properties of a polymer nanocomposite whose matrix constituent exhibits an intrinsic hierarchical structure at length scales from 10 to the minus 9th power to 10 to the minus 6th power m.
- Refractory Fibers
- Laminates and Composite Materials