Highly aligned CNT webs, with an areal density of 0.019 g/m2, were produced by direct drawing of CNT ‘forests’ grown by chemical vapor deposition, to form a conductive heating element. These were subsequently inserted between pre-cured layers of unidirectional carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) and the electrical and thermal conductivity of the combined system were assessed under different curing conditions. Control composites specimens, cured under high-pressure, demonstrated a higher fibre volume fraction, as well as higher electrical and thermal conductivities. With a single CNT 20-layer web interlayer added, the electrical conductivity increased by 25% when the CNT web alignment was perpendicular to that of the fibres, and by 15% when the CNT web alignment was parallel to the fibres. In addition, three types of CNT interlayer distribution were investigated. Through tailoring the pressure, carbon fibre layup and CNT interlayer, an efficient electro-thermal system was obtained which could be deployed as part of an ice-protection system on aircraft.
Yao, X., Falzon, B., Hawkins, S., & Tsantzalis, S. (2018). Aligned carbon nanotube webs embedded in a composite laminate: A route towards a highly tunable electro-thermal system. Carbon, 129, 486-494. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.carbon.2017.12.045