The demand for multifunctional requirements in aerospace, military, automobile, sports, and energy applications has encouraged the investigation of new composite materials. This study focuses on the development of multiwall carbon nanotube (MWCNT) filled polypropylene composites and carbon nanofiber composite mats. The developed systems were then used to prepare interlayered composites that exhibited improved electrical conductivity and electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding efficiency. MWCNT-carbon nanofiber composite mats were developed by centrifugally spinning mixtures of MWCNT suspended in aqueous poly(vinyl alcohol) solutions. The developed nanofibers were then dehydrated under sulfuric acid vapors and then heat treated. Interlayered samples were fabricated using a nanoreinforced polypropylene composite as a matrix and then filled with carbon fiber composite mats. The in-plane and through-plane electrical conductivity of an eight-layered flexible carbon composite (0.65 mm thick) were shown to be 6.1 and 3.0 × 10−2 S·cm−1, respectively. The EMI shielding effectiveness at 900 MHz increased from 17 dB for the one-layered composite to 52 dB for the eight-layered composite. It was found that the reflection of the electromagnetic waves was the dominating mechanism for EMI shielding in the developed materials. This study opens up new opportunities for the fabrication of novel lightweight materials that are to be used in communication systems.
Ramirez-Herrera, Claudia A.; Gonzalez, Homero; de la Torre, Felipe; Benitez, Laura; Cabanas-Moreno, Jose G.; and Lozano, Karen, "Electrical Properties and Electromagnetic Interference Shielding Effectiveness of Interlayered Systems Composed by Carbon Nanotube Filled Carbon Nanofiber Mats and Polymer Composites" (2019). Mechanical Engineering Faculty Publications and Presentations. 32.