Mechanics of reinforcement in a hybrid graphene and continuous glass fibre reinforced thermoplastic

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Hybrid nanomaterial-fibre-reinforced polymer composites show considerable promise but are often limited by the poor dispersion of the nanofillers, with filtering by the fibre weave being a common issue. Herein, a hybrid continuous glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP) was prepared based upon a polypropylene matrix, woven E-glass fibre (GF) and graphene nanoplatelets (GNP). The GNP flakes were melt-mixed with a polypropylene-graft-maleic anhydride (PP-MAH) compatibiliser and then melt-coated onto the GF mats, followed by layer-by-layer assembly using polypropylene films and coated fibre mats in a hot press. It was found that the stiffness and strength of the GFRP were increased by up to ∼3 GPa (25%) and ∼120 MPa (95%), respectively, by the addition of up to only ∼ 1.7 vol% of the GNP, to the composite. The experimental results enable us to extend our previous theory of mechanics of reinforcement by 2D materials to FRP. In-situ Raman band shift measurements on the flakes close to the glass fibres under strain found that the effective modulus of the flake is ∼130 GPa, indicating that a higher reinforcing efficiency of graphene was obtained in the FRP than in neat polymers due to improved local reinforcement effect of the matrix in the FRP.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110001
JournalComposites Science and Technology
Early online date21 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2023


  • GFRP
  • Graphene nanoplatelets
  • Micromechanics
  • PP-MAH
  • Polypropylene


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