Nano-fibers grafted on carbon fibers (CFs) has been of one of the most popular methods used for the carbon fibers surface treatment, which could significantly influence the interfacial properties between polymer matrix and carbon fibers in composites. This chapter demonstrated three novel carbon fibers surface treatment methods, they are carbon nanotubes (CNTs) grafted on CFs using catalysts formed in an ethanol flame, carbon fiber forests (CFFs) by carbon fiber surface brushing and abrading and ZnO nanowire grown onto CFs though a facile hydrothermal method respectively. Based on metal catalyst particles or dopamine-based functionalization formed onto the nano-fiber/CF interface, a good interfacial bonding strength between the nano-fiber and CFs was observed by an instrumented tip of an atomic force microscope and further improvement of interfacial shear strength with epoxy as measured by the single fiber pull out/microbond test was realized. The hierarchical micro-fibers on CF fabrics were then utilized to fabricate the laminates to characterize anti-delamination capacity (the mode I and mode II interlaminar fracture toughness) of these composite laminates, wherein carbon fiber fabrics were grafted with CNTs, short CFs and ZnO nanowires respectively.
Part of the book: Recent Developments in the Field of Carbon Fibers