Multifunctional Carbon Fibre Flat Tape for Composites

  • Vivek Koncherry

Student thesis: Phd


Recently, there has been a significant growth in the use of composites in sectors such as automotive, aerospace and wind energy. Composites are traditionally designed for mechanical performance in terms of strength, stiffness and impact energy absorption; however multifunctionality has become the focus of researchers and designers in recent years. Multifunctional design of composites involve adding functionality such as thermal management, radiation shielding, stealth, structural health monitoring and energy storage at material level rather than adding discrete components afterwards.The aim of the current research is to incorporate multi-functionality at tow-scale both as a processing aid during manufacture and adding additional functionality during subsequent processing. Various laboratory scale machines were developed as a part of this study to identify the ideal way to spread and incorporate metallic materials into the carbon fibre tows, thereby making them multifunctional. Manufacturing processes such as co-mingling of micro-fibres, coating with metallic powder and screen printing of metallic grid lines have been developed in this work.One of the objective of this thesis is to metallise carbon tow in order to use it in conjunction with magnetic tooling, as part of the chopped fibre preforming process developed by the University of Nottingham and Bentley Motors. The performance of the metallised tow has been evaluated using characterisation tests such as magnetic pull force test, bending rigidity test etc. Finite element models have been developed to verify the experimental results of magnetic pull force and bending properties.As observed during the research, the bending properties of the carbon tow were found to influence the accuracy of the finite element modelling significantly. Study into the bending properties of the carbon fibre and Multifunctional carbon tow using two different principles such as carbon tow bending under own weight and bending due to the application of an external force were carried out. In each case the governing mathematical models were also derived.
Date of Award1 Aug 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorVenkata Potluri (Supervisor) & Anura Fernando (Supervisor)


  • Coating
  • Mathematical Model
  • Process Development
  • Finite Element Analysis
  • Metallised Carbon Fibre
  • Flat Tape
  • Multifunctional
  • Composites
  • Carbon Fibre

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