Electron beam strengthens recyclable nanocomposite
Electron beam strengthens recyclable nanocompositePolymers reinforced with carbon fibers combine strength and low weight. They also boast significant green credentials as they are less resource-intensive during production and use, and they are readily recycled. While the mechanical properties of continuous-fiber laminates are sufficiently competitive for applications in aerospace and automobiles, composites reinforced with short carbon fibers could be attractive for fast-manufacture, and even 3-D printing for applications with more moderate strength requirements. As a result, there is keen interest in optimizing the mechanical properties of short-fiber reinforced thermoplastics to maximize on the potential of these materials. László Szabó and Kenji Takahashi and colleagues at Kanazawa University and Kanazawa Institute of Technology have now demonstrated that irradiating short carbon fiber thermoplastics with an electron beam can improve their mechanical properties.