Epoxy nanocomposites containing magnetite-carbon nanofibers aligned using a weak magnetic field

Shuying Wu, Raj B. Ladani, Jin Zhang, Anthony J. Kinloch, Zhiheng Zhao, Jun Ma, Xuehua Zhang, Adrian P. Mouritz, Kamran Ghorbani, Chun H. Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract Novel magnetite-carbon nanofiber hybrids (denoted by "Fe3O4@CNFs") have been developed by coating carbon nanofibers (CNFs) with magnetite nanoparticles in order to align CNFs in epoxy using a relatively weak magnetic field. Experimental results have shown that a weak magnetic field (∼mT) can align these newly-developed nanofiber hybrids to form a chain-like structure in the epoxy resin. Upon curing, the epoxy nanocomposites containing the aligned Fe3O4@CNFs show (i) greatly improved electrical conductivity in the alignment direction and (ii) significantly higher fracture toughness when the Fe3O4@CNFs are aligned normal to the crack surface, compared to the nanocomposites containing randomly-oriented Fe3O4@CNFs. The mechanisms underpinning the significant improvements in the fracture toughness have been identified, including interfacial debonding, pull-out, crack bridging and rupture of the Fe3O4@CNFs, and plastic void growth in the polymer matrix.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-34
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2015. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Carbon nanofibers
  • Magnetic field alignment
  • Epoxy nanocomposites


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