Flatwise compression of novel carbon nanotubes reinforced flax composite cores

Rita Palumbo, Fabrizio Scarpa, Dmitry Ivanov, francescogiuseppe Morabito, Christophe Droz, Olivier Bareille, Mohamed Ichchou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


This paper describes the manufacturing and quasi-static out-of-plane characterization of a natural fibre-based core with carbon nanotubes (CNTs) reinforcements. The core, designed for vibroacoustics applications, is a rectangular lattice with walls made from flax fibres/poly (furfuryl alcohol) resin (PFA) composites. Viscoelastic inserts reinforced by carbon nanotubes are embedded within the core as resin injected at the wall junction areas. Focus of this work is about the strengthening effect provided by the viscoelastic inclusions during flatwise compression. The paper describes the manufacturing process, the mechanical characterization of the natural fibre composite and the carbon nanotube resin and the flatwise compression of core samples performed following ASTM standards. Analytic models related to the viscoelastic carbon nanotube resin and the flatwise stiffness and strength are used to benchmark the experimental data. Core specimens with and without carbon-nanotube reinforcements are also compared to evaluate the effect of the CNT resin on the out-of-plane stiffness and strength of the core. We also compare the mechanical performance of these natural fibre-based CNT cores against analogous data related to commercial and lab-scale cores available in open literature. The flax composite core developed in this work features the highest normalized stiffness among the benchmark cores. The CNT-reinforced flax/PFA core also offers the highest normalized compression strength.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Materials
Publication statusIn preparation - 2019


  • sandwich panels
  • honeycomb cores
  • natural fibres
  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Flat-wise compression properties
  • sandwich core strength
  • viscoelastic materials


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