Theses and Dissertations


Juhyeong Lee

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Lacy, Thomas E.

Committee Member

Toghiani, Hossein

Committee Member

Pittman, Charles U., Jr.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Aerospace Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Aerospace Engineering


The effects of material/fabrication parameters on vapor-grown carbon nanofiber (VGCNF) reinforced vinyl ester (VE) nanocomposite flexural moduli and strengths were investigated. Statistically reliable empirical response surface models were developed to quantify the effects of VGCNF type, use of dispersing agent, mixing method, and VGCNF loading on flexural properties. Optimal nanocomposite formulation and processing (0.74 phr oxidized VGCNFs, dispersing agent, and high-shear mixing) resulted in predicted flexural modulus and strength values 1.18 and 1.26 times those of the neat resin. Additional flexural, tensile, and compressive tests were performed for optimally configured nanocomposites cured in a nitrogen environment. While flexural and tensile moduli significantly increased with increasing VGCNF loading, the corresponding strengths fell below those of the neat resin. In contrast, nanocomposite ultimate compressive strengths significantly exceeded the neat resin strengths. Nanocomposites prepared using aggressive high-shear mixing displayed improved elastic moduli and substantially increased strengths relative to nanocomposites prepared using baseline methods.