Laura Simonini, PhD of the Department of Industrial Engineering, won the Best Young Researcher Award, awarded to the best presentation given by a young researcher under 35 years at the TOP Conference 2021 - Times of Polymers & Composites 5th-9th September, 2021.
Dr. Simonini has been awarded for the work Graphene Coatings for Glass Fibers Through Triboelectrification, by Laura Simonini, Haroon Mahmood, Andrea Dorigato and Alessandro Pegoretti.
In this work, a novel nanomaterial deposition method based on the contact electrification of glass fibers was investigated. It was aimed at creating positive electrical charges on the surface of the fibers to attract graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets dispersed in water solution and characterized by negative charges. The GO coated glass fibers were subsequently chemically treated to obtain reduced GO (rGO) coated glass fibers. The coated fibers were used together with a bicomponent epoxy matrix to create single-fiber microcomposites. The fiber/matrix interfacial shear strength was evaluated by micro debonding tests, that evidenced an increment of the fiber/matrix adhesion up to 45% in case of rGO coated glass fibers.