23/01/2019 – Faserinstitut Bremen (FIBRE) — auf Deutsch lesen

Cotton in Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastics

Fibre reinforced plastics are often used in lightweight construction due to their high specific strength and stiffness. However, their susceptibility to impact stress is a disadvantage that results from the brittle fracture behaviour of thermosets. An example of impact stresses acting on a fibre reinforced plastic component are stones accelerated by aircraft wheels on runways. These stones might hit the airplane at high velocity and cause damage.


© Bremer Baumwollbörse


For her master’s thesis at Faserinstitut Bremen, Ms Lena Kölsch investigated if the impact strength of carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) can be increased by inserting cotton. Impact strength indicates the ability of a material to absorb impact energy. On the one hand, cotton was inserted as woven fabrics, and on the other hand, cotton particles were added to the laminate.

The results show that both, cotton inserted as woven fabrics to CFRP plates as well as cotton particles, enhance the impact strength in comparison to the reference plate. The amount of inserted cotton plays a decisive role, though. The results show that of three investigated cotton contents, the panels with the lowest content achieved the highest impact strength values. The impact strength values decrease with increasing cotton content. Cotton particles tend to result in a higher increase of the impact strength than cotton woven fabrics. The plate with the lowest cotton particle content (0.7 %) shows the highest overall impact strength values. The flexural modulus and tensile modulus as well as the tensile strength are slightly reduced due to the inserted cotton. The flexural strength shows slightly higher values for plates with cotton woven fabric and slightly lower values for plates with cotton particles.

The results of this thesis are the basis for further examination within the framework of a research project in which lightweight CFRP components for the automotive industry are optimized with regard to impact properties by inserting cotton.

Source: Bremen Cotton Report No. 01/02 – January 10th, 2019.

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