Potential of Softwood Engineered Timber with Graphene

Gabriel, Kelly (2018) Potential of Softwood Engineered Timber with Graphene. [USQ Project]


The use of innovative materials such as graphene could provide an opportunity for low grade timber to be further utilised in engineered timber by increasing the mechanical performance and predictability. The intrinsic strength of graphene nanoplatelets (GPLs) far exceeds that of any other material and has been successfully incorporated into polymer matrices, significantly reducing deflections resulting from out-of-plane loading and increasing the resistance to buckling under in-plane compression. However, research investigating the potential of a graphene timber relationship is extremely limited. The objective of this project was to investigate the bending and buckling behaviour of cross laminated timber (CLT) reinforced with GPL/polymer nanocomposite layers using Strand7 finite element software. This was achieved by numerically analysing the application of external GPL/epoxy nanocomposite layers and alternatively interlamella application of GPL/polyurethane (PUR) nanocomposite layers. Micromechanics based on the modified Halpin-Tsai Model and Rule of Mixtures was employed to predict the material properties of the nanocomposite layers. Empirical methods based on the Shear Analogy Method and Mechanically Jointed Columns Theory were used to validate the finite element model.

A detailed parametric study was conducted to investigate the effects of percentage weight fraction GPL, GPL aspect ratio and width-to-thickness ratio, thickness of nanocomposite reinforcement layers, CLT panel edge boundary conditions and number of CLT lamellas with respect to the bending and buckling behaviour. The numerical results show that reinforcement with GPL/polymer nanocomposite layers containing a small amount of GPLs, reduced the maximum deflections and increased the critical buckling loads of CLT panels. Increasing the percentage weight fraction of GPLs yielded further improvement, however, these effects were less pronounced as the number of CLT lamellas increased.

The reinforcing effect was most significant when external GPL/epoxy nanocomposite layers were applied as compared to interlamella GPL/PUR nanocomposite reinforcement application. Furthermore, GPLs with fewer layers and greater surface area were more effective in reducing bending deflections and resisting buckling loads. It was concluded that the reinforcing effect of the GPL/polymer nanocomposite layers was ultimately attributed to the shear strength of the nanocomposite material.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 40735
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Karunasena, Karu
Qualification: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Civil)
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2022 22:27
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2023 01:34
Uncontrolled Keywords: softwood engineered timber; graphene
URI: https://sear.unisq.edu.au/id/eprint/40735

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only