1 April 2015 Power generation from base excitation of a Kevlar composite beam with ZnO nanowires
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One-dimensional nanostructures such as nanowires, nanorods, and nanotubes with piezoelectric properties have gained interest in the fabrication of small scale power harvesting systems. However, the practical applications of the nanoscale materials in structures with true mechanical strengths have not yet been demonstrated. In this paper, piezoelectric ZnO nanowires are integrated into the fiber reinforced polymer composites serving as an active phase to convert the induced strain energy from ambient vibration into electrical energy. Arrays of ZnO nanowires are grown vertically aligned on aramid fibers through a low-cost hydrothermal process. The modified fabrics with ZnO nanowires whiskers are then placed between two carbon fabrics as the top and the bottom electrodes. Finally, vacuum resin transfer molding technique is utilized to fabricate these multiscale composites. The fabricated composites are subjected to a base excitation using a shaker to generate charge due to the direct piezoelectric effect of ZnO nanowires. Measuring the generated potential difference between the two electrodes showed the energy harvesting application of these multiscale composites in addition to their superior mechanical properties. These results propose a new generation of power harvesting systems with enhanced mechanical properties.
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Mohammad H. Malakooti, Mohammad H. Malakooti, Hyun-Sik Hwang, Hyun-Sik Hwang, Henry A. Sodano, Henry A. Sodano, "Power generation from base excitation of a Kevlar composite beam with ZnO nanowires", Proc. SPIE 9432, Behavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites 2015, 94320W (1 April 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2084391; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2084391

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