Meso-scale finite element modelling of carbon nanotube reinforced polymer composites

2021-12
Haydar, Altay
Carbon nanotube (CNT) reinforced polymer composites (CNTRPs) are promising materials which can be utilized in a variety of industries. Several experimental research studies have been conducted to determine the mechanical properties of CNTRPs, however results have not been conclusive. In this study, meso-scale representative volume elements (RVEs) of straight and coiled CNT (CCNT) reinforced epoxy composites were analysed by using commercial finite element analysis software MSC Marc-Mentat. CNTs were randomly distributed and oriented inside the RVE by using developed C++ code. The interface region between CNT and epoxy was modelled by exploiting Cohesive Zone Modelling (CZM) feature of Marc. Weak van der Waals interaction between CNT and epoxy is considered. In randomly oriented CNTs case, increasing CNT volume fraction, CCNT helix angle, and CCNT number of revolutions had positive effects on elastic properties of CNTRP while increasing CNT diameter had detrimental effects. In aligned CNTs case, CNTRP had improved mechanical property in the alignment direction. End structure of CNT (blunt or capped) did not have any significant effect on the elastic properties of CNTRP. Maximum Von Mises stress and maximum elastic strain in CNT showed an increasing trend with raise in CNT volume fraction. Rise in CCNT helix angle slightly increased CNTRP’s Poisson’s ratio while increasing CCNT number of revolutions and CNT diameter did the exactly opposite. The results obtained from finite element analyses (FEAs) were compared with well-known analytical micromechanics models. This study claims to have developed a novel CCNT reinforced epoxy composite finite element model.

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Citation Formats
A. Haydar, “Meso-scale finite element modelling of carbon nanotube reinforced polymer composites,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2021.