Based on the production of a carbon nanotube (CNT) assembly, a new technique is developed for preparing CNT/epoxy (EP) composite films with high tensile strength and electrical conductivity. CNTs are synthesized by floating catalyst spray pyrolysis. After self-assembling into a hollow cylindrical assembly, CNTs are drawn and wound on a rotating drum to form a uniform CNT film. EP resin solutions of different concentrations are used to fill into the pores within the film under different pressures and form composite films after hot-press curing. The permeability of the EP resin and thus the interfacial bonding between the CNT and the EP resin are studied by varying the concentration of the EP resin solution and the pressure used for impregnation. Under optimal preparation conditions, the composite film contains CNTs of a high content of 59 wt.%, and shows a high tensile strength of 1.4 GPa and a high electrical conductivity of 1.4x10(5) S.m(-1), 159% and 309% higher than those of the neat CNT film, respectively.
carbon nanotube;alignment;resin matrix composite;tensile strength;impregnation under pressure;