Pyrolysis, high temperature composites, carbon matrix
Maturity of high-temperature polymer-reinforced composites defer to conventionally expensive and intensive methods in both material and manufacturing aspects. Even traditional carbon-carbon, aerogel, and ceramic approaches are highly limited by difficult manufacturing techniques and are subject to sensitive handling throughout their processing and lifetime. Despite their utility in extreme environments, the high costs of existing high-temperature composites find limited practical applicability under high-performance applications. The development of continuous fiber-reinforced pyrolysis-derived carbon-matrix composites aim to circumvent the issues surrounding the manufacturing and handling of conventional high-temperature composites. Polymer matrix composites (PMCs) have a number of attractive properties including light weight, high stiffness-to-weight and strength-to-weight ratios, ease of installation on the field, potential lower system-level cost, high overall durability and less susceptibility to environmental deterioration than conventional materials. However, since PMCs contain the polymer matrix, their applications are limited to lower temperatures. In this study, a pyrolysis approach was used to convert the matrix material of phenolic resin into carbon-matrix to improve the mechanical and thermal properties of the composites. Composite material consisting of basalt fiber and phenolic resin was pyrolyzed to produce basalt-carbon composites through a novel method in which the pyrolysis promoted in-situ carbon nanotube growth to form “fuzzy fibers”. The carbon phenolic composites were pyrolyzed to produce carbon-carbon composites. Several types of composites are examined and compared, including conventional phenolic and carbon-matrix composites. Through Raman spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy, the composition of materials are verified before testing. Investigation into the improvements from in-situ carbon growth was conducted with an open-flame oxyacetylene test (ASTM-E285), to establish high-temperature thermal behavior, in addition to mechanical testing by three-point bending (ASTM-D790), to evaluate the mechanical and thermal properties of the pyrolyzed composites.
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Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Mechanical Engineering; Mechanical Systems
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Lui, Donovan, "Mechanical and Thermal Characterization of Continuous Fiber-Reinforced Pyrolysis-Derived Carbon-Matrix Composites" (2014). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 1281.