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In this study, conductive carbon nanofibers (CNFs) were dispersed into epoxy resin and then infused into glass fiber fabric to fabricate CNF/glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) laminates. The electrical resistance and strain of CNF/GFRP laminates were measured simultaneously during tensile loadings to investigate the in situ strain and damage monitoring capability of CNF/GFRP laminates. The damage evolution and conduction mechanisms of the laminates were also presented. The results indicated that the percolation threshold of CNFs content for CNF/GFRP laminates was 0.86 wt % based on a typical power law. The resistance response during monotonic tensile loading could be classified into three stages corresponding to different damage mechanisms, which demonstrated a good ability of in situ damage monitoring of the CNF/GFRP laminates. In addition, the capacity of in situ strain monitoring of the laminates during small strain stages was also confirmed according to the synchronous and reversible resistance responses to strain under constant cyclic tensile loading. Moreover, the analysis of the resistance responses during incremental amplitude cyclic tensile loading with the maximum strain of 1.5% suggested that in situ strain and damage monitoring of the CNF/GFRP laminates were feasible and stable.


Published version. Polymers, Vol. 10, No. 7 (July 16 2018). DOI. © 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (

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