Materials systems for interleave toughening in polymer composites

Nicola Vallack, William W. Sampson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


We review the literature describing the use of interleaves to increase interlaminar fracture toughness in fibre-reinforced polymer composites and hence to improve damage tolerance. From an analysis of data provided in the literature from the use of microfibre and nanofibre interleaves, we show that the performance of these widely researched systems is clearly differentiated when plotted against the mean coverage of the interleaf. Using a simple analysis, we suggest that this can be attributed to the influence of their porous architectures on the infusion of resin. We show also that the superior toughening performance of microfibre interleaves is only weakly influenced by the choice of fibre. We find also that the inclusion of carbon nanotubes within interleaves to deliver multifunctional composites can be optimised by using a hybrid system with microfibres. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6129–6156
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Materials Science
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2022


  • nonwoven
  • interleave
  • composite


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