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Fabrication of gradient vapor grown carbon fiber based polyurethane foam for shape memory driven microwave shielding

Yan, Yongjie, Xia, Hong, Qiu, Yiping, Xu, Zhenzhen, Ni, Qing-Qing
RSC advances 2019 v.9 no.17 pp. 9401-9409
carbon fibers, compression strength, dipping, electrical conductivity, foams, heat transfer, polyurethanes, thermal conductivity, vapors
Gradient vapor grown carbon fiber (VGCF) based shape memory polyurethane foam (VGCF@SMPUF) was fabricated by alternate dipping in a gradually diluted VGCF@SMPU/DMF solution and distilled water for shape memory driven microwave shielding. Shape memory performance for this VGCF@SMPUF was achieved by heat transfer of thermally conductive VGCF. Shielding effectiveness (SE) was adjusted through different degrees of angle recovery. A consistent shielding effect from either side indicated that electromagnetic reflection may take place at both the surface and inside of the non-homogeneous composite shield. For shape memory effect, hot compression made this VGCF@SMPUF achieve a faster recovery time and higher recovery ratio owing to improved thermal conductivity. Moreover, VGCF@SMPUF, which was bent to the positive side (PS) with a higher VGCF content, showed shorter recovery time and higher recovery ratio than that bent to the negative side (NS) with a lower VGCF content. We attribute this result to the relatively small mechanical compression strength of the negative side with the lower VGCF content at the bending point when expanding from the positive side. Furthermore, hot compression obviously improved the shielding effectiveness of the VGCF@SMPUF, mainly through a considerable increase of the electrical conductivity. The VGCF@SMPUF hot compressed to a thickness of 0.11 mm achieved a SE value of ∼30 dB, corresponding to a shielding efficiency of ∼99.9%.