Covalent Sizing of Carbon Fibres: A Route to Optimising Interfacial Phenomena in Composites

4 November 2019 - 2:30pm to 3:30pm
Ainsworth Building, J17, Level 1, Room 102
A/Prof. Luke Henderson

A/Prof. Luke Henderson, Institute of Frontier Materials, Deakin University

—All Welcome—


Continuing on our work in the surface modification of carbon fibres, we investigated the validity of tethering polymers to a carbon fibre surface.1  Evaluation of both ‘Graft To’ and ‘Graft From’ approaches were undertaken and how these modifications affected performance/the-innate physical properties of the underlying material was determined.

During our ‘Graft From’ study, we found that the use of an in situ polymerisation protocol2-3 resulted in the generation of carbon fibres with an electric blue colour (Figure 1). The source of colour is proposed to be thin-film interference, similar to that observed in the Morpho butterfly. Swelling the polymer with a solvent resulted in a cascade of colours through the visible spectrum during evaporation and polymer shrinkage.

In addition to this, the tensile strength of the fibre increased (13-30%), the interfacial shear strength increases in epoxy polymers (180-320%), and an unusual ability to reversibly form and reshape the fibre was also found. 4


(1) Randall, J. D.; Eyckens, D. J.; Servinis, L.; Stojcevski, F.; O'Dell, L. A.; Gengenbach, T. R.; Demir, B.; Walsh, T. R.; Henderson, L. C. Carbon 2019, 146, 88-96.

(2) Tessier, L.; Deniau, G.; Charleux, B.; Palacin, S. Chem. Mater. 2009, 21, 4261-4274.

(3) Deniau, G.; Azoulay, L.; Bougerolles, L.; Palacin, S. Chem. Mater. 2006, 18, 5421-5428.

(4) Eyckens, D. J.; Arnold, C. L.; Randall, J. D.; Stojceveski, F.; Hendlmeier, A.; Stanfield, M. K.; Pinson, J.; Gengenbach, T. R.; Alexander, R.; Soulsby, L. C.; Francis, P. S.; Henderson, L. C. ACS Appl. Mater.  Interfaces 2019, Accepted 10-10-2019.



Assoc. Prof. Luke Henderson is an academic in the Institute for Frontier Materials at Deakin University. He received his PhD in 2007 from Griffith University, QLD for his research on Total Synthesis of (±)-Hyphodermins A and D .Following this, he took up a Postdoctoral Fellow position at Oxford University, UK where he worked on Palladium catalysis in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline to synthesise indole scaffolds. In 2009, Assoc. Prof. Henderson returned to Australia as an Inaugural Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Fellow working in medicinal chemistry on small molecules to battle antibiotic resistance. After a short time researching cancer/infective disease therapies and catalysis, in 2012 he moved into materials chemistry and soon to be promoted to Professor of Materials Chemistry (effective January 2020). The primary target of his current research is to modify the surface chemistry of carbon fibres for controllable interfaces, allowing him to determine the specific molecular interactions which are responsible for optimal interfacial adhesion. His research approaches this problem from a very fundamental chemistry perspective and have developed methods of covalently sizing carbon fibres to allow these fundamental interactions to be discerned.


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