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Micromechanical modelling of carbon nanotube reinforced composite materials with a functionally graded interphase

Taç, Vahidullah
Gürses, Ercan
This paper introduces a new method of determining the mechanical properties of carbon nanotube-polymer composites using a multi-inclusion micromechanical model with functionally graded phases. The nanocomposite was divided into four regions of distinct mechanical properties; the carbon nanotube, the interface, the interphase and bulk polymer. The carbon nanotube and the interface were later combined into one effective fiber using a finite element model. The interphase was modelled in a functionally graded manner to reflect the true nature of the portion of the polymer surrounding the carbon nanotube. The three phases of effective fiber, interphase and bulk polymer were then used in the micromechanical model to arrive at the mechanical properties of the nanocomposite. An orientation averaging integration was then applied on the results to better reflect macroscopic response of nanocomposites with randomly oriented nanotubes. The results were compared to other numerical and experimental findings in the literature.