Multi-scale carbon (micro/nano) fiber reinforcement of polyetheretherketone using high shear melt-processing

Arya Tewatia, Justin Hendrix, Thomas Nosker, Jennifer Lynch-Branzoi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Fiber-reinforced polymer matrix composites offer lightweight, high mechanical performance but have required much effort to achieve good fiber-matrix adhesion and uniform distribution, and generally suffer from low impact resistance. In this work, a uniform, high shear melt-processing method was used to prepare carbon fiber (CF) reinforced polyetheretherketone (PEEK), carbon nanofiber (CNF) reinforced PEEK, and multi-scale CF and CNF reinforced PEEK composites. Scanning electron microscopy images show good fiber distribution and fiber-matrix interaction, as well as surface crystallization of PEEK from the fiber surfaces. Tensile modulus and strength increase most significantly with the addition of CF but with a loss in ductility. The multi-scale composite of CF-CNF-PEEK displays the stiffening effect from the CF and retains more ductility due to the CNF. Further, the CF-CNF-PEEK composite displays the highest impact energy absorption. This study shows that good mixing of CFs and CNFs is achievable in PEEK using a uniform, high shear processing method that can easily produce intricate shapes and provides a stiff, high impact energy absorption multi-scale carbon fiber-reinforced composite.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number32
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


  • Carbon nanofiber
  • Fiber-reinforced polymer composites
  • High performance carbon fiber
  • Multi-scale-reinforced polymer composites
  • New processing methods for composites
  • Surface crystallization


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