Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription Access

Vertically-Aligned Carbon Nanotube (VACNT)-Reinforcement for Strength and Life Enhancement of Composite Aerostructures



Laminated composites used in lightweight airframe structures offer higher in-plane strength and stiffness to weight ratio when compared with metals but suffer from weaker out-of-plane properties. Using a building-block approach, vertically-aligned carbon nanotube (VACNT) reinforcement technology is evaluated for its efficacy in enhancing the through-thickness properties of composite laminates necessary for reducing the weight, improving the damage tolerance and extending the fatigue life of composite airframe structures. With additional insight into how VACNT reinforcement performance scales, it is anticipated that the conclusion of this evaluation will facilitate the increase in the technology readiness level (TRL) of VACNT-applications for composite airframes from three to four [1]. The content of this document includes information relevant to the planning and fabrication activities of the program, with experimental testing of articles forthcoming.


Full Text:



NASA Technology Roadmaps TA 10: Nanotechnology. NASA, 2015, pp. 43, 55.

Mouritz, A. P. “Review of Z-Pinned Composite Laminates.” Composites Part A: Applied Science

and Manufacturing, Vol. 38, No. 12, 2007, pp. 2383–2397.


Mouritz, A. P., and Cox, B. N. “A Mechanistic Interpretation of the Comparative In-Plane

Mechanical Properties of 3D Woven, Stitched and Pinned Composites.” Composites Part A:

Applied Science and Manufacturing, Vol. 41, No. 6, 2010, pp. 709–728.

Ni, X., Furtado, C., Kalfon-Cohen, E., Zhou, Y., Valdes, G. A., Hank, T. J., Camanho, P. P., and

Wardle, B. L. “Static and Fatigue Interlaminar Shear Reinforcement in Aligned Carbon

Nanotube-Reinforced Hierarchical Advanced Composites.” Composites Part A: Applied Science

and Manufacturing, Vol. 120, 2019, pp. 106–115.


Garcia, E. J., Wardle, B. L., and John Hart, A. “Joining Prepreg Composite Interfaces with

Aligned Carbon Nanotubes.” Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, Vol. 39,

No. 6, 2008, pp. 1065–1070.

NAWAStitch Performance Data Sheet. NAWA America Inc., Dayton, OH, 2021, p. 2.

Guzman de Villoria, R., Hallander, P., Ydrefors, L., Nordin, P., and Wardle, B. L. “In-Plane

Strength Enhancement of Laminated Composites via Aligned Carbon Nanotube Interlaminar

Reinforcement.” Composites Science and Technology, Vol. 133, 2016, pp. 33–39.

Composite Materials Handbook: Polymer Matrix Composites: Materials Usage, Design, and


Chambers, J. T., Yutko, B. M., Oonnoonny, A., Hoffman, D., and Church, C. S. 3-D Woven

Preform Joint Experimental Testing Results to Support the D8 Double-Bubble Composite

Fuselage Design. In 2018 AIAA/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials

Conference, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2018.

Conway, H. M., and Gouldstone, C. Vertically Aligned Carbon Nanotubes as Interlaminar

Reinforcement in Carbon Fiber Composite Laminates. 2019.

HexPly® 8552 Product Data Sheet.


  • There are currently no refbacks.