R&D of carbon nanotubes based nanocomposites for self-heating and de-icing applications

Zangrossi, Francesco (2021) R&D of carbon nanotubes based nanocomposites for self-heating and de-icing applications. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Icing is a problem that aerospace environment has to face. Ice accretion on aircraft surfaces can cause serious problems on flight safety, performances and efficiency. Several ice protection strategies have been developed to overcome the icing hazards in the aerospace industry. The electro-thermal method is one of the popular approaches to prevent ice accretion and accumulation on aircraft surfaces. Given the increasing requirement of composites on aircraft structures, metal frameworks/fibre reinforced composites have been developed as a de-icing solution for the new generation aircraft. Next-generation aircraft structures require increased strength and lightweight composite materials, which pushes a high interest in nanomaterial based composite. In this project it was proposed to fabricate self-heating nanocomposites from carbon nanotubes, as an effective de-icing approach in aerospace. Due to the natural advances of nanomaterials, the nanocomposite electro-thermal structures are also expected to offer enhanced mechanical properties. Carbon nanotubes have been used to fabricate carbon nanotube films (carbon nanotube buckypaper, CNP) that have been integrated into composite structures. The novelties of the project were the chemicals treatments used to improve the electrical conductivity of the carbon nanotubes buckypaper and the mechanical tests used to analyse the mechanical behaviour of the nanocomposites. Due to static and dynamic loads during the flight conditions, it is essential to understand the mechanical characteristics of the CNP-based composites. This work was focused, in accordance with the industrial partner, on improving the electrical characteristics of the nanocomposite without compromising the mechanical properties. Once the optimal electrical characteristics will be reach, the future work should be focused on improving the thermal properties of the nanocomposite to further increase the ice protection efficiency.

The results showed that acid treatments of CNTs with nitric acid lead to an electrical conductivity improvement of CNT papers. The CNP showed promising electrical characteristics and heating performances for possible application in self-heating composites. Carbon nanotubes buckypapers embedded in fibre reinforced polymer composites have been fabricated by different processing approaches. Mechanical tests and the study of heating performance demonstrated that the CNP-based composite is a promising self-heating material candidate for ice protection of the aircraft surfaces.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Hou, Xianghui
Fang, Xu
Warrior, Nicholas
Keywords: Carbon nanotubes; nanocomposites; heating; de-icing; aerospace; electro-thermal; carbon nanotube buckypaper
Subjects: T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
T Technology > TP Chemical technology
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering
UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering
Item ID: 65331
Depositing User: Zangrossi, Francesco
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2023 12:17
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2023 12:17
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/65331

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