High specific modulus and strength are one of the most desired properties of the materials for structural applications with applications in automotive, defense, aerospace etc. The major cause of failures in composite laminates is due to delaminations. These delaminations in composite laminates can occur due to various loadings such as, low velocity impact, fatigue etc. Conventional methods have like through the thickness stitching or Z-Pinning have limitations for improving flexural and interlaminar properties in woven composites, as while improving interlaminar properties, the in plane properties are affected. Non-woven Tetra Ethyl Orthosilicate (TEOS) electrospun nanofibers (ENFs) applied at interfacial regions offer an alternative option to traditional treatments to improve the flexural properties.
This study investigates the flexural behavior of fiberglass composite interleaved with TEOS ENFs. The chemically engineered TEOS ENFs were manufactured using electrospinning technique and then sintered. The glass fiber composites with and without interleaving of non-woven TEO ENFs mats were manufactured using a heated vacuum assisted resin transfer molding (H-VARTM). The flexural strength and modulus of nanomodified composite are increased by 14% and 8% respectively; and the strain energy absorption has significantly increased up to 93% with 2% wt. of TEOS ENFs that shows significant improvement in impact resistance.