Civil Engineering ETDs

Author

Eslam Soliman

Publication Date

2-1-2012

Abstract

The last five decades observed an increasing use of fiber reinforced polymer(FRP) composites as alternative construction materials for aerospace and infrastructure. The high specific strength of FRP attracted its use as non-corrosive reinforcement. However, FRP materials were characterized with a relatively low ductility and low shear strength compared with steel reinforcement. On the other hand, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been introduced in the last decade as a material with minimal defect that is capable of increasing the mechanical properties of polymer matrices. This dissertation reports experimental investigations on the use of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) to produce a new generation of FRP composites. The experiments showed significant improvements in the flexure properties of the nanocomposite when functionalized MWCNTs were used. In addition, MWCNTs were used to produce FRP composites in order to examine static, dynamic, and creep behavior. The MWCNTs improved the off-axis tension, off-axis flexure, FRP lap shear joint responses. In addition, they reduced the creep of FRP-concrete interface, enhanced the fracture toughness, and altered the impact resistance significantly. In general, the MWCNTs are found to affect the behavior of the FRP composites when matrix failure dominates the behavior. The improvement in the mechanical response with the addition of low contents of MWCNTs would benefit many industrial and military applications such as strengthening structures using FRP composites, composite pipelines, aircrafts,and armored vehicles.

Keywords

Carbon fiber-reinforced plastics, Nanotubes, Nanocomposites (Materials)

Sponsors

National Science Foundation (NSF), Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)

Document Type

Dissertation

Language

English

Degree Name

Civil Engineering

Level of Degree

Doctoral

Department Name

Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Taha, Mahmoud Reda

First Committee Member (Chair)

Maji, Arup

Second Committee Member

Shen, Yu Lin

Third Committee Member

Al-Haik, Marwan

Fourth Committee Member

Murphey, Thomas

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