Epoxy nanocomposites with aligned carbon nanofillers by external electric fields

Chun H. Wang, Raj B. Ladani, Shuying Wu, Jin Zhang, Anthony J. Kinloch, Kamran Ghorbani, Adrian P. Mouritz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


This paper presents systematic studies on aligning carbon nanofillers in epoxy by external fields, either electric fields or magnetic fields, to create nanocomposites with greatly improved mechanical and electrical properties. Carbon nanofibers (CNFs) and graphene nanoplatelets (GnPs) were observed to align along the field direction in the epoxy resin. Compared to the unmodifed epoxy and those with randomly-oriented carbon nanofillers, the nanocomposites with aligned carbon nanofillers showed significantly higher fracture toughness and electrical conductivity along the direction of the external field. Compared with randomly-oriented nanofillers, aligned GnPs and CNFs produced 40% and 27% improvement in fracture energy at 1.0 wt%, bringing the total increase in fracture energy over the neat polymer to more than 10 times. Several key toughening mechanisms were identified through fractographic analysis, which was used to develop predictive models to quantify the increases in the value of GIc as a result of 1-D and 2D carbon nanofillers. The present findings suggest that aligning carbon nanofillers presents a very promising technique to create multi-scale reinforcement with greatly increased electric conductivity and fracture toughness.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICCM20
Subtitle of host publication20th International Conference on Composite Materials: proceedings
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event20th International Conference on Composite Materials, ICCM 2015 - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 19 Jul 201524 Jul 2015


Conference20th International Conference on Composite Materials, ICCM 2015


  • Carbon nanofibre
  • Graphene nanosheet
  • Electric field
  • Fracture toughness
  • Alignment


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