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CNT Composites for Aerospace Applications

S. Bellucci, C. Balasubramanian, P. Borin, F. Micciulla and G. Rinaldi
INFN-Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati, IT

Keywords:
carbon nanotubes composites, aerospace applications, electrical properties, epoxy resin, shielding of electrical circuits

Abstract:
Carbon nanotubes are being widely studied for various applications ranging from medical to electronics and also optical devices. They are also being studied for the suitability and applications in aerospace and aeronautical field. A useful application in aerospace that we are studying is the improvement of electrical properties of composites made from carbon nanotubes and epoxy resin. Towards this end, we have studied the resistivity of composite materials with varying percentages of carbon nanotubes (CNT) added to the epoxy resin. Carbon nanotubes were synthesized by thermal arc plasma process after optimization of the synthesis parameters. These samples were then analysed by electron microscopes like scanning electron and transmission electron microscopes (SEM and TEM), in order to establish the morphology of the nanostructures. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) and electron diffraction studies were also carried out before using the sample for the composite material preparation. Composites of epoxy resin with curing agent as well as a mixture of graphite and carbon nanotubes were prepared with varying proportions of the mixture. The electrical resistivity of the material was studied under varying humidity, temperature and voltage conditions. The results of these studies present interesting features which are useful in choosing the ideal composition and ratio of the composite material for use in shielding of electrical circuits of space vehicles from radiations of the outer space. These results will be presented at the conference.

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