Journal of Materials Science, Vol.53, No.11, 8108-8119, 2018
Preparation of carbon nanotube/copper/carbon fiber hierarchical composites by electrophoretic deposition for enhanced thermal conductivity and interfacial properties
A facile electrophoretic deposition method was proposed to deposit copper (Cu) and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on the surface of carbon fiber (CF) to improve the thermal conductivity and interfacial properties of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites. Surface morphologies, crystallographic properties, thermal conductivity, interlaminar shear strength (ILSS) and element distribution of the composites were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction, thermal constant analysis, short-beam bending tests and SEM energy-dispersive X-ray diffractometer (SEM-EDX), respectively. The results indicate that the presence of Cu and CNTs generated networks and bridges with each other, which produced continuous heat conduction pathways and significantly enhanced both the specific surface area and roughness of the fiber surface. These pathways obviously promoted an improvement in the thermal and interfacial properties. The thermal conductivity and ILSS of the CNTs-Cu-CF/epoxy composites increased by 292 and 39.5%, respectively, compared with CF/epoxy composites. Therefore, this method is anticipated to be utilized in the future fabrication of multifunctional CFRP composites.