Applicability of FT-IR Techniques and Goniometry on Characterization of Carbon Fiber Surfaces

Mauro Santos de Oliveira Junior, Milton Faria Diniz, Rita de Cássia Lazzarini Dutra, Marcos Massi, Choyu Otani

Abstract


Carbon fibers have been widely used as structural reinforcement in aeronautical composites, because of their exceptional mechanical properties. However, carbon fibers present few polar groups on their surfaces inducing a weak interaction with some thermosetting and thermoplastic matrices. Surface treatments, such as thermal and electrochemical oxidation, are generally followed by sizing in order to improve interfacial adhesion between carbon fibers and some matrices. The precise surface characterization, by means of its chemical groups and radical identification, has been pointed out as an effective tool of carbon fibers finishing assessment process. Goniometry and Fourier transforminfrared spectroscopy are widely used to characterize some materials applied in industry, but not for carbon fibers, mainly because of their filamentary shape and the high concentration of carbon even in their near surface. In this paper, unsized and sized Torayca T300 carbon fibers were characterized by goniometry tests to evaluate hydrophilic or hydrophobic character. Qualitatively, it was noticed the effect of sizing on carbon fibers by their hydrophilic behavior, which has not been observed in unsized samples. Chemical analysis was performed by Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy using different setups: photoacoustic, attenuated total reflectance and universal attenuated total reflectance. The Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy/ attenuated total reflectance/Germanium was shown to be the most promising technique to analyze carbon fibers surface, despite the low level of relative intensities of some bands. By this technique, it was possible to observe differences between unsized and sized carbon fibers spectra.


Keywords


carbon fibers; composite materials; hydrophobicity; infrared spectroscopy; interfaces; surface properties.

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