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West Long Branch, United States

Kim J.-W.,National Institute of Aerospace | Sauti G.,National Institute of Aerospace | Siochi E.J.,Advanced Materials and Processing Branch | Smith J.G.,Advanced Materials and Processing Branch | And 4 more authors.
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces | Year: 2014

Thermoset/carbon nanotube (CNT) sheet nanocomposites were successfully fabricated by resistive heating assisted infiltration and cure (RHAIC) of the polymer matrix resin. Resistive heating takes advantage of the electrical and thermal conductivity of CNTs to rapidly and uniformly introduce heat into the CNT sheet. Heating the CNT sheet reduces the viscosity of the polymer resin due to localized temperature rise in close proximity to the resin, which enhances resin flow, penetration, and wetting of the CNT reinforcement. Once the resin infusion process is complete, the applied power is increased to raise the temperature of the CNT sheet, which rapidly cures the polymer matrix. Tensile tests were used to evaluate the mechanical properties of the processed thermoset/CNT sheet nanocomposites. The improved wetting and adhesion of the polymer resin to the CNT reinforcement yield significant improvement of thermoset/CNT nanocomposite mechanical properties. The highest specific tensile strength of bismaleimide(BMI)/CNT sheet nanocomposites was obtained to date was 684 MPa/(g/cm3), using 4 V (2 A) for resin infiltration, followed by precure at 10 V (6 A) for 10 min and post curing at 240 °C for 6 h in an oven. The highest specific Young's modulus of BMI/CNT sheet nanocomposite was 71 GPa/(g/cm3) using resistive heating infiltration at 8.3 V (4.7 A) for 3 min followed by resistive heating cure at 12.5 V (7 A) for 30 min. In both cases, the CNT sheets were stretched and held in tension to prevent relaxation of the aligned CNTs during the course of RHAIC. © 2014 American Chemical Society.

Wilkinson S.P.,Flow Physics and Control Branch | Wilkinson S.P.,NASA | Siochi E.J.,Advanced Materials and Processing Branch | Siochi E.J.,NASA | And 6 more authors.
45th AIAA Plasmadynamics and Lasers Conference | Year: 2014

A key, enabling element of a dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) actuator is the dielectric substrate material. While various investigators have studied the performance of different homogeneous materials, most often in the context of related DBD experiments, fundamental studies focused solely on the dielectric materials have received less attention. The purpose of this study was to conduct an experimental assessment of the body-force-generating performance of a wide range of dielectric materials in search of opportunities to improve DBD actuator performance. Materials studied included commonly available plastics and glasses as well as a custom-fabricated polyimide aerogel. Diagnostics included static induced thrust, electrical circuit parameters for 2D surface discharges and ID volume discharges, and dielectric material properties. Lumped-parameter circuit simulations for the ID case were conducted showing good correspondence to experimental data provided that stray capacitances are included. The effect of atmospheric humidity on DBD performance was studied showing a large influence on thrust. The main conclusion is that for homogeneous, dielectric materials at forcing voltages less than that required for streamer formation, the material chemical composition appears to have no effect on body force generation when actuator impedance is properly accounted for.

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