Structural reinforcement and failure analysis in composite nanofibers of graphene oxide and gelatin

Panzavolta, Silvia and Bracci, Barbara and Gualandi, Chiara and Focarete, Maria Letizia and Treossi, Emanuele and Kouroupis-Agalou, Konstantinos and Rubini, Katia and Bosia, Federico and Brely, Lucas and Pugno, Nicola M. and Palermo, Vincenzo and Bigi, Adriana (2014) Structural reinforcement and failure analysis in composite nanofibers of graphene oxide and gelatin. In «Carbon», vol. 78, Netherlands : Elsevier, pp. 566-577.

PDF (Post-print) - Full Text
Download (1260Kb) | Preview
    Official URL:


    In this work we study the mechanical properties and failure mechanism of nano-composites of graphene oxide sheets embedded in polymeric systems, namely films and electro-spun nanofibers. In this last system, contrary to conventional bulk composites, the size of the nano-reinforcement (GO sheets) is comparable to the size of the nanofibers to be reinforced (≈ 200 nm). As polymeric matrix we use gelatin. We demonstrate that the high chemical affinity of the two materials hinders the renaturation of gelatin into collagen and causes a nearly ideal mixing in the GO–gelatin composite. Adding just 1% of GO (wt of GO with respect to gelatin ) we obtain an increase of Young’s modulus >50% and an increase of fracture stress >60%. We use numerical simulations to study the failure mechanism of the fibers. Calculations well agree with experimental data and show that, even if cracks start at GO sheet edges due to stress concentrations, crack propagation is hindered by the nonlinear behaviour of the matrix. Moreover, the presence of the GO sheets in continuous gelatin films improves the material stability to phosphate buffer solutions from 2 days to 2 weeks, making it a better material than gelatin for applications in biological environments.

    Item Type: Article in journal
    FP7 Grant Agreement Number: European Research Council/StG Ideas 2011 - BIHSNAM/EU/FP7/279985, European Research Council/PoC 2013-I - REPLICA2/EU/FP7/619448
    Department or Research center: Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering
    Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General) > TA350 Applied Mechanics
    T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General) > TA630 Structural Engineering
    Repository staff approval on: 18 Feb 2015 10:09

    Actions (login required)

    View Item