Multi-functional composite materials : CFRP thin film capacitors
Sammanfattning: The use of lightweight materials in structural applications is ever increasing. Today, lightweight engineering materials are needed to realise greener, safer and more competitive products. A route to achieve this could be to combine more than one primary function in a material or component to create multi-functionality, thus reducing the number of components and ultimately the overall weight. This thesis presents an approach towards realising novel multi-functional polymer composites. A series of structural capacitor materials made from carbon fibre reinforced polymers have been developed, manufactured and tested. In papers I and II, capacitors have been manufactured using different papers and polymer films as dielectric separator employing carbon fibre/epoxy pre-pregs as structural electrodes. Plasma treatment was used as a route for improved epoxy/polymer film adhesion. The manufactured materials were evaluated for mechanical performance by ILSS and tearing tests and electrical performance by measuring capacitance and dielectric breakdown voltage. In paper III the concept was extended in a parametric study using the most promising approach with a polymer film as dielectric separator. Three thicknesses of PET (50, 75 and 125 µm) were used as dielectric separator with carbon fibre/epoxy pre-pregs as structural electrodes. PET was chosen due to availability in different thicknesses as well as the frequent use in ordinary capacitors making it a suitable candidate. As in paper I and II, plasma treatment was used to improve the PET/epoxy adhesion. The capacitor materials were evaluated for mechanical performance by tensile tests and ILSS and for electrical performance by measuring capacitance and dielectric breakdown voltage. The multifunctional materials shows good potential for replacing steel and other materials with lower specific mechanical properties but cannot match the high specific mechanical performance of mono-functional materials. Both mechanical and electrical performance could have large benefits from developing new separator materials adapted for use in multifunctional applications and could be an interesting field for extended research.
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