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Micromechanical modeling of carbon nanotube-reinforced nanocomposites

A. Pantano, D.M. Parks, M.C. Boyce and F. Cappello
Università degli Studi di Palermo, IT

Keywords:
nanocomposites, nanotubes, numerical simulations

Abstract:
Due to the high stiffness and strength of carbon nanotubes, as well as their ability to act as conductors, carbon nanotubes are under intense investigation as fillers in polymeric materials. The nature of the carbon nanotube/polymer bonding and the curvature of the carbon nanotubes within the polymer have arisen as particular factors in the efficacy of the carbon nanotubes to actually provide any enhanced stiffness or strength to the nanocomposite. Here the effects of carbon nanotube curvature and interface interaction with the matrix on the nanocomposite stiffness are investigated using micromechanical analysis. We recognize and acknowledge poor bond and thus poor shear lag load transfer to the CNT. Therefore Composite Stiffness Enhancement can be achieved through the bending energy of the CNT rather than through the axial stiffness and energy of the CNTs; the bending also best capitalizes on the MWNTs and usage of all internal walls to enhance composite stiffness.

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