Publication:
Scaling up the Fabrication of Mechanically-Robust Carbon Nanofiber Foams

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Authors
Curtin, William
Arias-Monje, Pedro J.
Dominguez, Charliean
Phillips, Jonathan
Luhrs, Claudia C.
Subjects
carbon nanofibers
carbon foam
Advisors
Date of Issue
2016-02-15
Date
February 15, 2016
Publisher
Language
Abstract
This work aimed to identify and address the main challenges associated with fabricating large samples of carbon foams composed of interwoven networks of carbon nanofibers. Solutions to two difficulties related with the process of fabricating carbon foams, maximum foam size and catalyst cost, were developed. First, a simple physical method was invented to scale-up the constrained formation of fibrous nanostructures process (CoFFiN) to fabricate relatively large foams. Specifically, a gas deflector system capable of maintaining conditions supportive of carbon nanofiber foam growth throughout a relatively large mold was developed. ANSYS CFX models were used to simulate the gas flow paths with and without deflectors; the data generated proved to be a very useful tool for the deflector design. Second, a simple method for selectively leaching the Pd catalyst material trapped in the foam during growth was successfully tested. Multiple techniques, including scanning electron microscopy, surface area measurements, and mechanical testing, were employed to characterize the foams generated in this study. All results confirmed that the larger foam samples preserve the basic characteristics: their interwoven nanofiber microstructure forms a low-density tridimensional solid with viscoelastic behavior. Fiber growth mechanisms are also discussed. Larger samples of mechanically-robust carbon nanofiber foams will enable the use of these materials as strain sensors, shock absorbers, selective absorbents for environmental remediation and electrodes for energy storage devices, among other applications.
Type
Article
Description
The article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/fib4010009
Series/Report No
Department
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE)
Organization
Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.)
Identifiers
NPS Report Number
Sponsors
Office of Naval Research, Code 30, Force Protection Thrust
Funder
Office of Naval Research, Code 30, Force Protection Thrust
Format
14 p.
Citation
Curtin, William, et al. "Scaling up the Fabrication of Mechanically-Robust Carbon Nanofiber Foams." Fibers 4.1 (2016): 9.
Distribution Statement
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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