Fiber reinforced polymer composites are becoming ubiquitous in modern structures, due to their light weight, high specific strength, and ability to be tailored for a specific application. The increase in the commercial adoption and feasible applications of composite materials has motivated researchers to develop the next generation of composites. These next generation composites aim to integrate more structural and nonstructural properties into the structure with the goal of increasing the efficiency of the system as a whole. There have been many efforts in modifying or replacing structural fiber and matrix phases with active materials. However, this methodology usually affects the structural properties of the composite and limits their practical applications. Here, we present a new approach for the development of multifunctional fiber reinforced polymer composites. In this method, piezoelectric nanostructures (ZnO nanowires and barium titanate textured films) are integrated at the interface between structural fibers and matrix phase. Since the load transfer between reinforcement phase and polymer matrix happens at the interfacial region, the active phase at the interface results in a composite with unique properties. In this study we examined the vibration damping and energy harvesting of the fabricated composites. The nanostructured interface showed a great potential as a damping mechanism and energy harvesting constituent in these composites. The large amount of stress concentration in this region resulted in increased damping properties and sustainable energy harvesting performance. This research introduces a route for integrating responsive properties into structural composites by utilizing functional nanostructured interfaces.
Mohammad H. Malakooti, Brendan A. Patterson, Christopher C. Bowland, Hyun-Sik Hwang, and Henry A. Sodano, "Piezoelectric interfaces enabled energy harvesting and tailored damping in fiber composites," Proc. SPIE 10172, A Tribute Conference Honoring Daniel Inman, 101720L (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 30, 2017; Published: 10 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2260104.
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