Multifold interface and multilevel crack propagation mechanisms of graphene oxide/polyurethane/epoxy membranes interlaminar-toughened carbon fiber-reinforced polymer composites
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Graphene oxide/polyurethane/epoxy (GO/PU/EP) membranes were directly fabricated by functionalization of graphene oxide with epoxy-grafted polyurethane (GO-UE), and the interface correlation and crack propagation mechanisms in GO/PU/EP membranes interlaminar-toughened carbon fiber-reinforced polymer composites were investigated. The functionalized GO-UE with corrugation and scrolling nature of graphene sheets was evenly dispersed in GO/PU/EP membranes below 0.50 wt% loading. Mode I fracture toughness, flexural properties and interlaminar shear strength of GO/PU/EP membranes-toughened composites were enhanced in comparison with untoughened composites and PU/EP membranes-toughened composites, which was ascribed to the multifold interface bonding between the GO-UE layers, epoxy matrix and carbon fiber. Schematic models of multilevel crack propagations were proposed based on different crack extension directions to GO-UE and the morphology evolutions of GO-UE in the interlaminar region and at the carbon fiber interface in toughened composites, which highlighted the toughening mechanisms of crack pinning, crack deflection and separation between GO-UE layers.
This work was financed from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. U1362205).
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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