Theses and Dissertations

Experimental Study of Moisture Effect on the Nanofiber Z-Threaded Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer Prepreg and Its Composite

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Dr. Kuang-Ting Hsiao, Ph.D


A persistent issue found in Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) manufacturing is moisture contamination. During manufacturing, this issue is present when a CFRP prepreg is carefully thawed, cut, stacked, and cured into the desired laminate. The moisture affects the structural integrity of the finished laminate and can present as voids. Recent advancements in carbon nanofiber (CNF) z-threaded CFRP (i.e., ZT-CFRP) prepreg have yielded laminates that have significant multifunctional improvements in, but are not limited to, mechanical strength, toughness, thermal conductivity, and electrical conductivity. This approach affects the microstructure of the laminate in which the CNF interlocks with the carbon fiber along the through-thickness direction (i.e., Z-direction) giving an effective 3D-fiber-network reinforced laminate. In this study, the impact of relative humidity (RH) on the interlaminar shear strength (ILSS) and the hardness of ZT-CFRP and traditional CFRP prepregs during handling and lamination processes are investigated. The microscopic analysis will aid in explaining how different moisture conditions affect the sample laminates. ILLS testing provides a glimpse into how the different moisture conditions affect the ZT-CFRP and the CFRP laminates.

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