Industry News

Researchers to Develop Composite Materials with Self-diagnostic Function

Published on 2020-10-08. Edited By : SpecialChem

TAGS:  Electrical & Electronics     Thermoplastic Composites     New Energy Solutions   

composite-ktu-aircraft KTU researchers and colleagues are developing multifunctional composite materials for aircraft, cars, wind power plants and other structure production. The international team of researchers aims at making the new material not only durable but also checking for errors invisible to the human eye.

Detecting Damage Without Integrated Sensors

The team of researchers will develop new electrically conductive fibrous polymer composites, which will have excellent mechanical properties and self-diagnostic function. “This will allow detecting damage without an additionally integrated sensor or using expensive contactless devices,” says Dr. Daiva Zeleniakienė, a researcher at Kaunas University of Technology (KTU). The researcher points out the economic advantage of the novel materials being developed also by the KTU scientists.

New Electrically Conductive Nanoparticles

Colleagues from the US have created new electrically conductive nanoparticles that will be used for the composite material created by Lithuanian and other country researchers. MXene is a new group of metal carbides and/or nitrides characterized by a unique combination of metals electrical conductivity, hydrophilic surface and excellent mechanical properties.

MXenes are nanoparticles recently created by our partners from Drexel University in the US. This scientific discovery is very important because the new material has already shown excellent, technologically useful properties at the early stages of the research”, – says Dr Zeleniakienė.

Structures with More Strength and Durability

Such particles will be mixed into an epoxy resin that is usually used for aviation, automotive and other industries production of composites. This will give more strength and durability to the structures. “Also, installation of structural condition monitoring measures – based on the correlation between the development of errors and electrical parameters – will serve as a self-diagnostic tool for defect detection”, explains KTU researcher.

MXene particles used in research do not harm human health; particles released into the environment react with oxygen and form titanium dioxide that is used even in the food industry, for example, as white doughnut glaze.

Durable and Resistant Reinforced Plastic Composites

It is important that technological progress would be beneficial not only economically, but also would be environmentally friendly. Another science project on this topic – new hybrid fiber composer creation.

“With reinforced plastic composites, we can ensure durability, resistance to decomposition and fatigue, as well as additional functionality, such as excellent thermal, antistatic or electromagnetic interference shielding properties by using hybrid nanofillers, i.e. combinations of different nanoparticles with different properties”,
explains the researcher. “Although fiber composite industry in Lithuania, compared to other European countries, is not very well developed, I believe that our research will contribute to its’ growth in Lithuania”, says Dr. Zeleniakienė.

According to scientists, the research on advanced multifunctional materials that reduce the measures and weight of structures and electronic devices, while ensuring the highest requirements for mechanical properties, environmental protection and durability, has grown significantly over the past decade. They say that the biggest challenge that researchers and industry face today is the ability to identify materials that are needed for advanced production and everyday use; that is sustainable, from a new generation, cost-effective and energy-efficient.

Source: KTU
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