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Dr. Marwan Al-haik 

Interfacial Design of Hybrid Composites: A Path to Novel Reinforcements for 3D Printing

Carbon fiber-reinforced polymeric composites (CFRPs) are prone to delamination due to insufficient interfacial properties. Several remedies were carried out to enhance the fiber/matrix interfaces via chemical treatments or utilizing stiffer nanomaterials at the interface. However, some of these treatments are destructive in nature and others are non-scalable. This investigation corroborates a novel methodology for developing hybrid reinforcements that comprise carbon fibers and metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). The growth of MOFs is scalable, non-destructive to the fibers, and easily tailorable to control the porous morphologies of the MOFs at the interface. Furthermore, the study demonstrates the feasibility of utilizing MOFs as a catalyst to grow carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on carbon fibers. Several mechanical characterizations, including tensile, dynamic mechanical analysis, and shear lap-joint, were carried out to discern the effects of the MOFs on the composite structural performance. Several improvements emanated from the MOFs placement on the interface, including improving the strength, enhancing the damping parameter by 500%, increasing the glass transition temperature of the composite by 20 °C, and alleviating the shear lap joint strength by 40%. The MOFs were utilized to enhance the mechanical properties of additively manufactured (AM) composites based on short carbon fibers. Tensile and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) tests were utilized to explore the effect of MOFs on the mechanical properties of 3D-printed composites. Composites with MOFs improved stiffness and strength by 30.2% and 19.0%, respectively. The MOFs enhanced the damping parameter by 700%.

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