Electrolytic Surface Treatment for Improved Adhesion between Carbon Fibre and Polycarbonate
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To achieve good mechanical properties of carbon fibre-reinforced polycarbonate composites, the fibre-matrix adhesion must be dialled to an optimum level. The electrolytic surface treatment of carbon fibres during their production is one of the possible means of adapting the surface characteristics of the fibres. The production of a range of tailored fibres with varying surface treatments (adjusting the current, potential, and conductivity) was followed by contact angle, inverse gas chromatography and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurements, which revealed a significant increase in polarity and hydroxyl, carboxyl, and nitrile groups on the fibre surface. Accordingly, an increase in the fibre-matrix interaction indicated by a higher interfacial shear strength was observed with the single fibre pull-out force-displacement curves. The statistical analysis identified the correlation between the process settings, fibre surface characteristics, and the performance of the fibres during single fibre pull-out testing.