STUDY OF MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF CARBON NANOTUBES AND NANOCOMPOSITES BY MOLECULAR SIMULATIONS
Since their discovery in 1991, carbon nanotubes have been the focus of considerable research due to their remarkable physical and mechanical properties reported. This form of carbon has potential applications in numerous conventional and new areas - light-weight structural materials being just one of them. The strength to weight ratio of carbon nanotubes is higher than any currently known material; hence their use to reinforce polymers has been of great interest. This research concentrates on molecular mechanics simulations of carbon nanotubes and their application as reinforcing fibers in polymer composites. The systems being investigated consist of amorphous as well as crystalline polyethylene composites with embedded single-walled carbon nanotube. Various scenarios of deformation and fracture are observed, in accordance with experimental and previously published simulation results. Adhesion at the nanotube – polyethylene interface, the key to effective load transfer, is studied for crystalline as well as amorphous polyethylene systems. Further, fractures in carbon nanotube reinforced nanocomposites are simulated. The tensile properties of amorphous and crystalline polyethylene are studied and compared with nanotube-reinforced composites.
School:University of Cincinnati
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:carbon nanotube cnt swnt mwnt nanocomposite polymer composite polyethylene mechanical properties molecular dynamics mechanics simulations energy minimization tensile fracture interface interfacial shear
Date of Publication:01/01/2005