Enhancing the Mechanical Properties of Fiber Composite Racket Using Nanoparticles
The research aims to modify the damping properties as well as the flexural stiffness of epoxy-based nanocomposites and fiber reinforced composites using silica nanoparticles together with rubber particles. Two kinds of rubber particles, one is the reactive liquid rubber (CTBN) and the other is the core shell rubber (CSR) were employed in this investigation. In general, the disadvantage of adding rubber particles into polymeric resin is the dramatic reduction of stiffness although the damping could be improved accordingly. In order to enhance the damping properties of the fiber composites without sacrificing their stiffness, the silica nanoparticles in conjunction with the rubber particles were introduced into the epoxy matrix through the sonication process to form the epoxy-based nanocomposites. Furthermore, the epoxy based nanocomposites were treated as matrix and impregnated into the fiber layer through a vacuum hand lay-up process to fabricate the composite laminates. The damping performances of the nanocomposites as well as the composite laminates were determined from the forced vibration technique together with the half power method. Meanwhile, the flexural stiffness of the material systems was evaluated by the resonance frequency obtained from the vibration tests. Results indicated that either silica nanoparticles or rubber particles can improve the damping responses of the epoxy-based nanocomposites. However, it was found that when the rubber particles were present only, the stiffness of the nanocomposites was dramatically reduced. By introducing the hybrid material systems (10wt% silica nanoparticles and 10wt% rubber particles), the superior damping properties and flexural stiffness can be concurrently accomplished. Moreover, if the hybrid material system was employed as matrix materials in the fiber composites laminates, this enhanced damping property may also be observed in the vibration tests. The concept as well as the technology on the hybrid fiber composites will be extended to Vector company for their future development of next generation badminton racket.