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Hierarchical, lightweight nanocomposite reinforced with electrospun nano-fibres for structural applications (HILISPUN)

Research project BL/01/IN15 (Research action BL)

Persons :

  • M.  SAVENO David - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U.Leuven)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/1/2018-31/12/2020

Description :

Development of collaboration between Indian and Belgian institutions (KUL/ Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee ) and knowledge exchange towards creation of novel lightweight nanocomposites reinforced with electrospun nanofibers for structural applications, including the following fields:
(1) Synthesis of PAN/CNT nanofibers by electrospinning technique
(2) Coating of nanofibers on carbon fabrics
(3) Mechanical and morphological characterization of nanofibers and composites
(4) Modeling of nanofibers and composites

Hierarchical, lightweight and functional composite materials integrating microscopic continuous fibers and nanoscale reinforcements are becoming preferred materials for automobile, sports and space craft. We propose the synthesis of Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) polymer/ carbon nanotube (CNT) nanofibers with a modified electrospinning technique and transfer of this reinforcement into carbon fabrics for structural applications. Changes in the morphology and mechanical properties of woven composites will be investigated in details and they are expected to lead to the next generation of smart composites with enhanced physical/chemical/mechanical properties '.

Networking knowledge transfer will be done via mutual visits of scientist with a focus on experimental and modelling techniques. Indian scientists will learn more abut theoretical simulations and wettability while Belgian researches will learn about electrospinning, fabrication of nanofiber composites and mechanical characterization techniques. The expertise will be dissiminated via lectures, colleges for a broader audience of students. Large projects will be defined bases on the results of the initial collaborative activities. Potential partners in Europe and in Asia will be defined. Exploitation of research results will in the long term be explored in sectors such as aeronomy, automobile sector, energy , technical textiles, medicine and electronica. Further collaboration is also planned with the ITT Kharagpur partners in India.

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