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Title: Smart multifunctional composite materials for improvement of structural and non-structural properties
Author: Pinto, Fulvio
Awarding Body: University of Bath
Current Institution: University of Bath
Date of Award: 2013
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The principal aim of this thesis is to analyse the effectiveness of multifunctional smart materials as intelligent structures to improve mechanical properties and activate additional non-structural features. In order to investigate these multiple aspects, a comprehensive literature review has been presented focusing on the state of the art in multifunctional and smart materials. From this analysis, five different systems based on different designing solutions and manufacturing techniques were developed and experimentally validated. Multiscaled composites are a typical example of multifunctional materials and are based on the addition of engineered nanoscaled reinforcement to traditional mesoscopic systems. To test the effectiveness of nanomodification, an experimental campaign has been carried out, aimed to the characterisation of a nanocomposite obtained embedding Graphene Nanoplatelets (GNPs) in the polymeric structure of Low Density Polyethylene films at difference concentrations. Nanoscaled fillers were subsequently used to manufacture a threephasic multi-scaled composite based on the inclusion of nanometric SiO2 particles in a traditional carbon fabric/epoxy system. Following a different approach, hybrid structures with embedded Non-Newtonian fluids have been manufactured and tested and the results showed that nonlinear viscosity can be exploited to dynamically enhance material properties during an impact event. The possibility to intervene both on structural and non-structural properties has been investigated with another hybrid system, based on the embodiment of Shape memory Alloys (SMA) wires within a traditional unidirectional CFRP. The study of the impact properties pointed out that the superelasticity effect and the hysteretic stress/strain behaviour of the embedded wires reduce the extent of the internal delamination for samples subjected to low velocity impacts. Moreover, by exploiting the SMAs thermoelectrical properties it is possible to use the embedded metallic network as a strain sensor by measuring the electrical resistance variation and as an embedded heat source to be used for rapid thermographic damage location and evaluation.
Supervisor: Meo, Michele Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available