In this paper, the effect of Multi Wall Carbon Nanotubes (MWNT) as a toughening agent of laminated composites is experimentally investigated. Carbon fiber laminates were manufactured by resin film infusion technique in which the resin flows in the through-the-thickness direction. The modified polymer systems showed 17% improvement in the stress intensity factor (KIc), whereas the laminated composites showed up to 48% improvement in Mode I and 143% improvement in Mode II fracture toughness. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) was then used to study the fractured surface and to explain the contrasting behavior of the MWNT-modified polymers when compared to the laminates.

This paper was originally published in Carbon 79 (2014) 413-423.

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