Surface modification of carbon fiber as a protective strategy against thermal degradation

Y. Athulya Wickramasingha, Bhagya Dharmasiri, James D. Randall, Yanting Yin, Gunther G. Andersson, Dhriti Nepal, Ben Newman, Filip Stojcevski, Daniel J. Eyckens, Luke C. Henderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Carbon fibers were surface modified with acrylate-derived polymers with aromatic side chains, to protect the fiber when exposed to high temperatures. The surface modification process induced a significant increase in tensile strength (23.7%) and tensile modulus (8%), for the benzyl-bearing side chain and retained superior tensile strength (20%) and tensile modulus (7%) after heating to 600 °C. Commercial carbon fibres gave a significant decrease in tensile strength and modulus, 7% and 4%, respectively, when exposed to the same conditions. This suggests that the surface modification process provides a protective effect against thermal degradation, with possible application in carbon fibre recycling. The interfacial shear strength (IFSS) showed significant improvement before (up to 208%) and after (up to 84%) exposure to high temperatures. Analysis of the carbon fiber surface by XPS suggests that the surface bound polymer becomes more graphitic, potentially via the fusion of the aromatic side chains.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106740
Number of pages11
JournalComposites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Carbon Fiber
  • High Temperature
  • Sizing
  • Surface Modification


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