This paper details the development of compliant textured surfaces based on fibrous composites that possess enhanced
hydrophobic surface wetting properties. The fibrous composites consist of various micro-fiber phases reinforcing a
compliant elastomeric matrix. The fiber phase is textured such that it is aligned transversally and protruding out of the
elastomer surface. This is achieved by mechanically cutting and rearranging a longitudinally aligned molded composite
– a process that takes advantage of the fiber debonding and pullout phenomenon. The textured surface brought about by
the aligned and protruded fibers is apparent in both the surface morphology and metrology of the composites. Contact
angle wetting studies indicate that the fiber protrusions enhances the hydrophobicity of the surface. A maximum contact
angle of 110° is observed with a carbon fiber content of 16vol%, representing a 32% improvement in the surface
hydrophobicity over unreinforced TPU (84°). The textured fiber composites in this study represent a facile method to
enhance the multi-functionality of composites, by imparting hydrophobic behavior, without the need for any additional
surface coating or post-process texturing.
R. Rizvi, A. Anwer, and H. Naguib, "Multifunctional surfaces produced using fiber debonding and pullout in composite materials," Proc. SPIE 10165, Behavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites 2017, 101650X (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 28, 2017; Published: 11 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2264631.
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