Tiny changes make a HUGE difference. The next generation of composite structures must be stiffer, stronger, tougher, lighter, more durable, and smart: multifunctional. While the mechanical properties are generally defined by the choice of fiber, matrix, and fiber architecture, a new window has opened to radically improve not only the composite mechanical properties but their electrical and thermal properties as well by the addition of a small amount of nanoparticles strategically placed on and between the reinforcing fibers in composite materials.
Small additions of selected nanoparticles introduced into the matrix and interface in composite materials can radically improve the mechanical, electrical, thermal, barrier, flammability, and impact behavior of structures. The development and deployment of this revolutionary material and process technology is being actively explored for vehicle applications with a focus on creating multifunctional structures with increased efficiency and effectiveness.
Lawrence T. Drzal, University Distinguished Professor
Chemical Engineering & Materials Science