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Long Carbon Fibers for Microwave Absorption: Effect of Fiber Length on Absorption Frequency Band

Abstract : This work presents lightweight epoxy foams loaded with very low weight percentages (<= 0.5 wt.%) of carbon fibers (CFs) with different lengths (3 mm, 6 mm, and 12 mm) as broadband microwave absorbing materials for anechoic chamber application. The effect of CF length on microwave absorption, especially on the absorption frequency band, is investigated for frequencies between 1 and 15 GHz. For the elaboration of composites, three different methods-spatula, shear mixing, and ultrasounds-are used for the dispersion of CFs. The observation of these CFs, after the dispersion step, shows a high fiber breakage rate when shear mixing is used, unlike when spatula or ultrasounds methods are used. On the other hand, the characterization of the elaborated composites highlights a correlation between the mixing methods, hence the fiber brakeage, and the measured reflection coefficient (reflection loss) of the composites. As a result, the minimum value of the reflection coefficient is shifted toward the high frequencies when the fiber breakage is observed, suggesting that short CFs absorb at high frequencies while long CFs absorb at low frequencies. Dielectric properties, extracted from the measurement in free space, of composites elaborated with different fiber lengths (3 mm, 6 mm, and 12 mm) confirm that short CFs (3 mm) show maximum losses at high frequencies (around 15 GHz) while long CFs (12 mm) show maximum dielectric losses at low frequencies (below 4 GHz). However, no significant variation is observed on the real part of the relative permittivity, as a function of fiber length, for these porous composites loaded with very low CF rates. A hybrid composite, with a mix of different CF lengths, is prepared and characterized. The simulation of the absorption performance of a pyramidal absorber, based on this hybrid composite, is compared to the one of pyramidal absorber based on composites loaded with a single length of carbon fibers. The pyramidal absorber-based hybrid composite predicts the best absorption performance, especially at the low frequency band. The simulated reflection coefficient of this absorber is less than -12 dB in all the studied frequency range, and less than -40 dB for frequencies higher than 3 GHz. This result confirms the interest of using a mix of carbon fiber lengths to achieve a broadband microwave absorber.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03127264
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Submitted on : Monday, February 1, 2021 - 2:01:41 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, April 27, 2022 - 3:51:14 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Sunday, May 2, 2021 - 7:19:43 PM

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Hanadi Breiss, Aicha El Assal, Ratiba Benzerga, Chloé Mejean, Ala Sharaiha. Long Carbon Fibers for Microwave Absorption: Effect of Fiber Length on Absorption Frequency Band. Micromachines, 2020, 11 (12), ⟨10.3390/mi11121081⟩. ⟨hal-03127264⟩

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