Nanofibrous-structured polymers and their engineering applications

Cocchi, Davide (2021) Nanofibrous-structured polymers and their engineering applications, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Meccanica e scienze avanzate dell'ingegneria, 33 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/9666.
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Monolithic materials cannot always satisfy the demands of today’s advanced requirements. Only by combining several materials at different length-scales, as nature does, the requested performances can be met. Polymer nanocomposites are intended to overcome the common drawbacks of pristine polymers, with a multidisciplinary collaboration of material science with chemistry, engineering, and nanotechnology. These materials are an active combination of polymers and nanomaterials, where at least one phase lies in the nanometer range. By mimicking nature’s materials is possible to develop new nanocomposites for structural applications demanding combinations of strength and toughness. In this perspective, nanofibers obtained by electrospinning have been increasingly adopted in the last decade to improve the fracture toughness of Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) laminates. Although nanofibers have already found applications in various fields, their widespread introduction in the industrial context is still a long way to go. This thesis aims to develop methodologies and models able to predict the behaviour of nanofibrous-reinforced polymers, paving the way for their practical engineering applications. It consists of two main parts. The first one investigates the mechanisms that act at the nanoscale, systematically evaluating the mechanical properties of both the nanofibrous reinforcement phase (Chapter 1) and hosting polymeric matrix (Chapter 2). The second part deals with the implementation of different types of nanofibers for novel pioneering applications, trying to combine the well-known fracture toughness enhancement in composite laminates with improving other mechanical properties or including novel functionalities. Chapter 3 reports the development of novel adhesive carriers made of nylon 6,6 nanofibrous mats to increase the fracture toughness of epoxy-bonded joints. In Chapter 4, recently developed rubbery nanofibers are used to enhance the damping properties of unidirectional carbon fiber laminates. Lastly, in Chapter 5, a novel self-sensing composite laminate capable of detecting impacts on its surface using PVDF-TrFE piezoelectric nanofibers is presented.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Cocchi, Davide
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
nanocomposite; nanomaterial; nanostructure; nanofiber; electrospinning; polymer; epoxy; matrix; fracture toughness; elastic modulus; mechanical properties; vascularization; multiscale modelling; RVE; adhesive; bonded joints; DCB; damping; composite laminate; CFRP; smart materials; impact behaviour; SHM
Data di discussione
16 Marzo 2021

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