Influence of reduced graphene oxide on epoxy/carbon fibre-reinforced hybrid composite: flexural and shear properties under varying temperature conditions.
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JENKINS, P., SIDDIQUE, S., KHAN, S., USMAN, A., STAROST, K., MACPHERSON, A., BARI, P., MISHRA, S. and NJUGUNA, J. 2019. Influence of reduced graphene oxide on epoxy/carbon fibre-reinforced hybrid composite: flexural and shear properties under varying temperature conditions. Advanced engineering materials [online], (accepted).
This study investigated the effectiveness of reduced graphene oxide as nanofiller in enhancing epoxy/carbon fibre-reinforced composite at varying temperature conditions. The graphene oxide was synthesised using modified Hummer’s method and then chemically reduced to yield reduced graphene oxide (rGO). The rGO was dispersed in epoxy matrix system through combination of mechanical and sonication methods. The flexural and shear test samples were manufactured using resin infusion technique. These samples were then tested to determine their shear and flexural properties at varying temperatures (-10°C, 23°C, 40°C) and the results correlated to neat samples. It was found that the composites’ flexural strength and flexural modulus increased with rGO wt.% content up to 62% and 44% respectively. The shear testing results showed improvement on the shear strength and modulus at maximum of 6% and 40% respectively. The rGO improvements advantage was lost for flexural strength, shear strength and modulus at elevated temperatures while flexural modulus withheld at 40% improvements over virgin epoxy/carbon fibre-reinforced composite. An interesting observation is that all samples with rGO exhibite reduced damage characteristics superior to the neat samples under flexural and shear loading conditions. This study indicates that the addition of rGO significantly alter the flexural and shear properties, failure modes, damage characteristics and they are overall sensitive to elevated temperature conditions.