||Magnesium alloys have attracted considerable attention owing to its low density of ~1.7 g/cm3. On the other hand, the carbon fiber (CF) reinforced polyether ether ketone (PEEK) polymer composites possess extraordinary specific strength and stiffness along the longitudinal (or fiber) direction. It follows that the combination of Mg/CF/PEEK would offer an alternative in forming a high specific strength and stiffness composite. In the first part of this study, the low density and high performance Mg-based laminated composites were fabricated by means of sandwiching the AZ31 Mg foils with the carbon-fiber/PEEK prepreg through hot pressing. Proper surface treatments of AZ31 sheet using CrO3 base etchants are necessary in order to achieve good interface bonding characteristics. The resulting Mg base laminated composite, with a low density of 1.7 g/cm3, exhibits high modulus of 75 GPa and tensile strength of 932 MPa along the longitudinal direction. The experimentally measured tensile modulus and strength data along both the longitudinal and transverse direction are within 90-100% of the theoretical predictions by rule of mixtures, suggesting that the bonding between layers and the load transfer efficiency are satisfactory. The flexural stress and modulus along the longitudinal direction are 960 MPa and 54.6 GPa, respectively, suggesting a sufficiently high resistance against bending deflection. The peel strengths are about 2.75 and 4.85 N/mm along the longitudinal and transverse directions, respectively, superior to that of the epoxy-resin-adhered and carbon-fiber-reinforced aluminum laminated composites.|
Polymer nanocomposites have attracted considerable attention during the past decade due to their versatile and extra-ordinary performances. The polymer nanocomposites can be prepared by the well-known sol-gel method. It is well known that PEEK is a good solvent resistant polymer. Hence, it is impossible to fabricate the PEEK nanocomposite by means of sol-gel method. In the second part of this study, the PEEK nanocomposites filled with nano-sized silica or alumina measuring 15-30 nm to 2.5-10 weight percent were fabricated by vacuum hot press molding at 400oC. The resulting nanocomposites with 5-7.5 wt% SiO2 or Al2O3 nanoparticles exhibit the optimum improvement of hardness, elastic modulus, and tensile strength by 20-50%, with the sacrifice of tensile ductility. With no surface modification for the inorganic nanoparticles, the spatial distribution of the nanopartilces appears to be reasonably uniform. There seems no apparent chemical reaction or new phase formation between the nanoparticle and matrix interface. The crystallinity degree and thermal stability of the PEEK resin with the addition of nanopartilces were examined by X-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry, and thermogravity analyzer, and it is found that a slight decrease in crystallinity fraction and a higher degradation temperature would result in as compared with the prestine PEEK.