Research Seminar Series: Novel multi-scale carbon nanotube hybrid composites: processing, characterization and applications in smart sensing and structural monitoring
A/Prof. Erik T. Thostenson
Dept of Mechanical Engineering, Dept of Materials Science and Engineering, and Center for Composite Materials, University of Delaware, USA
Since carbon nanotubes were first observed in the early 1990s considerable research has focused on exploring the unique physical and mechanical properties of this novel material. Their high stiffness and extraordinary strength, the ability to sustain large elastic strain, as well as their high aspect ratio and low density have enabled many potential applications, such as reinforcements for structural and functional composites, probe tips for atomic force microscopes and components in nanoelectromechanical systems. This presentation highlights recent research in processing, characterization and modeling of electrically conductive carbon nanotube-based composite materials with an aim at establishing their fundamental structure-property relations. Because carbon nanotubes have diameters three orders of magnitude smaller than traditional advanced fibers there is a unique opportunity to create multi-scale hybrid composite systems where reinforcement scales are combined. Our recent research has developed a highly efficient and industrially scalable electrophoretic deposition technique for nanoscale hybridization. We have demonstrated that conducting carbon nanotube networks formed in a polymer matrix can be utilized as highly sensitive sensors for detecting the onset, nature and evolution of damage in advanced polymer-based fiber composites. The potential of carbon nanotubes for in situ monitoring of damage accumulation in fiber composite structures will be discussed and recent research on utilizing carbon nanotubes in large-scale structures highlighted.
Erik Thostenson is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Delaware and holds an affiliated appointment in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Professor Thostenson's research focuses on processing and characterization of composite materials focusing on carbon nanotube and advanced fiber reinforcements toward the development of novel multifunctional composites and micro/nano mechanics modeling techniques. His research has been cited over 8,300 times in the scientific literature (ISI Database: H-index: 32). Thostenson received a National Science Foundation Early Career Development Award (CAREER) in addition to a Young Investigator Program (YIP) Award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. He also was the recipient of the Elsevier Young Composites Researcher Award from the American Society for Composites recognizing researchers who early in their career have made a significant impact on the science and technology of composite materials through a sustained research effort.
For more information, please contact Professor Chun Wang.