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Research Paper

Evaluation of the Mechanical Properties of CNT Based Composites Using Hexagonal RVE

[+] Author and Article Information
Unnati A. Joshi

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Vibration and Noise Control Laboratory, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee 247667, Indiaunnatiajoshi@gmail.com

Preeti Joshi

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Vibration and Noise Control Laboratory, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee 247667, Indiapreeti.joshi.86@gmail.com

S. P. Harsha

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Vibration and Noise Control Laboratory, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee 247667, Indiasurajfme@iitr.ernet.in

Satish C. Sharma

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Vibration and Noise Control Laboratory, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee 247667, Indiasshmefme@iitr.ernet.in

J. Nanotechnol. Eng. Med 1(3), 031006 (Aug 10, 2010) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002044 History: Received May 09, 2010; Revised June 16, 2010; Published August 10, 2010; Online August 10, 2010

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) possess extremely high stiffness, strength, and resilience, and may provide ultimate reinforcing materials for the development of nanocomposites. In this paper, the effective material properties of CNT-based composites are evaluated based on the continuum mechanics using a hexagonal representative volume element (RVE). Numerical equations are used to extract the effective material properties from numerical solutions for the hexagonal RVEs under axial loading case. An extended rule of mixtures for estimating effective Young’s modulus in the axial direction of the RVE is applied. It has been observed that the addition of the CNTs in a matrix at volume fractions of only about 3.6%, the stiffness of the composite is increased by 33% for long CNT at Et/Em=10, whereas not much improvement in stiffness has been noticed in the case of short CNTS at Et/Em=10. Effectiveness of composites is evaluated in terms of various dimensions such as thickness, diameter, and length of CNT. These results suggest that short CNTs in a matrix may not be as effective as long CNTs in reinforcing a composite. The simulation results are consistent with the experimental ones reported in literature. Also, the comparative evaluation of all three types of RVEs is presented here.

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Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Three RVEs for the analysis of CNT-based nanocomposites

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Figure 2

A hexagonal RVE containing a short CNT shown in a cut through view

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Figure 3

The hexagonal RVE used to evaluate the effective material properties of the CNT-based composites: under axial stretch ΔL, (a) CNT through the length of the RVE, and (b) CNT inside the RVE

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Figure 4

(a) Finite elements mesh of a 3D FEM model for the hexagonal RVE with a long CNT and ((b)–(d)) plot of stress distributions of long and short CNTs for the hexagonal RVE under an axial stretch ΔL

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Figure 5

(a) Variation of Et/Em for different values of Ez/Em, (b) thickness variation along with Ez/Em using hexagonal RVE, (c) variation in diameter with Ez/Em, (d) comparison of FEM results for long versus short CNT, (e) comparison of FEM results for hexagonal, square, and cylindrical CNTs, and (f) FEM results and experimental results (18)

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