Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 53, Issue 23, pp 15939–15951 | Cite as

Multifold interface and multilevel crack propagation mechanisms of graphene oxide/polyurethane/epoxy membranes interlaminar-toughened carbon fiber-reinforced polymer composites

  • Bo Li
  • Dawei Liu
  • Gang LiEmail author
  • Xiaoping Yang


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).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10853_2018_2753_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (364 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 364 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Organic–Inorganic Composites, College of Materials Science and EngineeringBeijing University of Chemical TechnologyBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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