Piezoresistive behavior of epoxy matrix-carbon fiber composites with different reinforcement arrangements


In this work, the self-monitoring capability of epoxy matrix-carbon fiber composites has been studied. Different concentrations and arrangements of reinforcements were used, including random chopped, unidirectional and bi-directional continuous carbon fibers, weaved and nonweaved. Mechanical properties were determined by uniaxial tensile tests. The composite electric to mechanical behavior was established by determining its electrical resistivity variation as a function of the stress-strain curve. It was observed that the composites electrical resistance increased during tensile tests, a trend that indicates piezoresistive behavior. The increase was linear for the chopped reinforced composites, while it exhibits different slopes in the continuous reinforced composites. The initial smaller slope corresponds mainly to separation of the 90° oriented fibers and/or transversal cracking of the matrix, whereas the latter higher slope is caused by fiber fracture. The results demonstrated how each reinforcement configuration exhibited a unique and typical electrical response depending on the specific reinforcement, which might be appropriate either for strain-monitoring or damage-monitoring.
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