In recent years, more severe requirement of budget and safety from industrial fields, especially space exploration and defense field, demand a new class of materials whose characteristics can satisfy both various engineering requirement and strict safety standard. The latter demands materials to have good thermal properties and significantly improved fire retardant property. In this research, multifunctional materials with layered structures are made from polyester resin, glass fiber mats and carbon nanofibers (CNFs). CNFs are added to the resin component of the composite laminates as additives in pulverised form and carbon nanofiber paper sheets (CNFS), respectively. Their flammability behaviors are investigated with cone calorimeter under well-controlled combustion conditions. And their heat release rate and other test parameters are compared and discussed, such as ignition time, heat release rate (HRR), peak heat release rate (PHRR), and so on. Although its PHRR is sharply increased to higher level for CNFS enforced composite laminates, its HRR curve is lowered greatly in most flaming time. Therefore, the pre-incorporated CNFS may act as an excellent insulator and mass transport barrier, improving the flame retardant property.

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