Dr. Estelle Kalfon-Cohen
Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, MIT, Cambridge, USA
Composites of advanced fibers and polymers are state-of-the-art engineered materials with properties that go beyond simple linear combination (“rule of mixtures”) of the ingredients but rather act synergistically to yield better properties than the constituents. Although laminated composites are highly demanded in the industry for their specific structural properties, they often fail in the interlaminar region where matrix-dominated properties, such as interlaminar strength and toughness, prevail. In this talk, I will show how nano-scale modification in the form of vertically-aligned carbon nanotubes pursues local out-of-plane reinforcement to address the delamination issue and delay damage progression under loading. I will present an original technique based on Synchrotron Radiation Micro Computed Tomography to visualize complex 3D damage progression and identify interacting mechanisms. Finally, I will demonstrate how these nanoengineered advanced materials can also leverage multifunctionality for demanded novel manufacturing solutions and for advanced sensing in structural health monitoring.