PAN/SWNT composite fibers have been spun with 0, 5, and 10 wt% single wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). Tensile fracture surfaces of polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fibers exhibited extensive fibrillation, while for PAN/SWNT composite fibers, tendency to fibrillate decreased with increasing SWNT content. The reinforcing effect of SWNTs on the oxidized polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fiber has been studied. At 10wt% SWNTs, breaking strength, modulus, and strain to failure of the oxidized composite fiber increased by 100%, 160%, and 115%, respectively. Tensile fracture surfaces of thermally stabilized PAN and the PAN/SWNT fibers exhibited brittle behavior and well distributed SWNT ropes covered with the oxidized matrix can be observed in the tensile fracture surfaces of the fibers. No de-bonding has been observed between unoxidized or the oxidized PAN matrix and the nanotube ropes. Higher strain to failure of the oxidized composite fiber as compared to that of the oxidized control PAN fiber also suggests good adhesion/ interaction between SWNT and the oxidized matrix. Thermal stresses generated on the composite fiber during the oxidation process were lower than those for the control fiber. The potential of PAN/SWNT composite fiber as the precursor material for the carbon fiber has been discussed.
- A. Carbon fibers, Carbon nanotubes, Carbon precursor
- B. Oxidation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)