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Title: Carbon fibre reinforced aluminium for lightweight vehicle structures
Author: Constantin, Hannah
ISNI:       0000 0004 6347 3219
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2016
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The impact of human activity on the environment is significant. One way to reduce our carbon footprint is to decrease the mass of passenger vehicles, improving fuel efficiency. In addition, the use of recycled materials can reduce environmental impact further. The aim of this project is to fabricate and evaluate novel recycled carbon fibre reinforced aluminium as a lightweight material for passenger vehicles. Recycled carbon fibre reinforced aluminium materials were fabricated by gas pressure infiltration. The infiltration behaviour of the preforms was quantified by mercury intrusion porosity, compared to other preform types, and compared to composite materials fabricated at different pressures. Recycled carbon fibre reinforced aluminium materials can be fabricated by gas pressure infiltration, using less than 12 bar gas pressure, resulting in fibres occupying approximately 11% of the material volume. A sodium silicate binder was utilised in an effort to increase the fibre packing fraction and improve preform handle-ability. Silicon was added to the aluminium matrix to inhibit the formation of aluminium carbide during fabrication at the fibre/matrix interface. Although this was not successful, the composite materials containing silicon exhibited reduced porosity and fibre breakage, and no aluminium carbide was observed after up to 4 hours of heat treatment. Nickel-coated carbon fibre was used to improve the wetting behaviour between the fibres and the matrix, which reduced the required pressure for infiltration with aluminium by five times. The mechanical properties of the composite material were evaluated using wear testing and a novel small-specimen creep test. The testing specimen size may not be representative of the composite material as a whole, as in most cases, the addition of carbon fibres had a deleterious effect on the mechanical properties of the material.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available