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Wettability of carbon fibres at tow scale

Mr Jian Wang, PhD Student, Harbin Institute of Technology


In composites, the physical adhesion between Carbon Fibres (CFs) and polymer matrices as well as the formation of voids at the interface between these two materials are mostly controlled by the wetting properties of the fibres. Due to the hierarchical structure of CF reinforcements, it is essential to study their wetting behavior at different scales: from the single fiber (microscale) to the fabric

(macroscale) via the tow scale (mesoscale). Whereas a direct measurement of the contact angle of single CFs by tensiometric means is well established, a direct measurement of the wettability of CF tows is hampered by their porous structure due to densification and liquid take up phenomena. In this work, we first developed a new methodology combining a tensiometric method and a synchronized in-situ optical observation technique to better characterize the wettability of CFs at tow scale. The wettability of single CFs and CF tows composed of unsized and sized CFs were measured. By comparing their wettability at the micro- and mesoscale, we could quantify how the modification of the surface chemistry at the microscale is transferred to the mesoscale.


Jian is a PhD student in Materials Science and Engineering at Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT). He was at KU Leuven for 18 months (since 2015 August) as a joint PhD student supported by the China Scholarship Council (CSC) scholarship. PhD Project: The characterization and modification of interfaces between carbon fibres and thermoplastic matrix in composites. He obtained his master degree in material science and engineering at HIT in 2013.

Major publication:
Wang, Jian, et al. “Wettability of carbon fibres at micro-and mesoscales.” Carbon 120 (2017): 438-446.
Zhang, Luman, et al. “Wettability of carbon nanotube fibres.” Carbon 122 (2017): 128-140.