Toward the Electrical Characterization of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) Composites




Lowe, Seamus

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In pursuit of greater energy and cost efficiencies, industrial demand for lightweight, high performance, and multifunctional materials is continuing to rise. In recent years, carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites have appeared in countless applications and have become a fundamental building block of a more sustainable society. Although the mechanical properties of CFRP composites have been extensively characterized, the electrical behavior of CFRP composites has been largely unexplored in existing literature. The electrical behavior of CFRP determines whether it will be effective for grounding or electromagnetic shielding. The electrical characteristics of CFRP also make it possible to utilize electromagnetic propagation or induction as non-destructive evaluation methods. However, in addition to the unusual electrical properties of carbon fiber itself, carbon fiber composites feature complex and anisotropic electrical conductivity. Toward more fully understanding the electrical behavior of CFRP composites, this study presents two independent experiments. The first of these develops techniques toward a standardized method of establishing electrical contact with CFRP composites and proposes two novel procedures. The second experiment seeks to characterize the complex impedance response of unidirectional CFRP composites. Specifically, a bulk equivalent circuit model is proposed for single laminate composites and an equivalent capacitance model is proposed for multi-laminate composites.



Carbon fiber composites, Electrical characterization., Composite materials., Materials science and engineering.