Buckling and Postbuckling Behavior of Functionally Graded Nanotube-Reinforced Composite Plates in Thermal Environments
Hui-Shen Shen; Zheng Hong Zhu

Source CMC: Computers, Materials & Continua, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 155-182, 2010
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Keywords Nanocomposites;Functionally graded materials;Plates;Buckling;Postbuckling
Abstract This paper investigates the buckling and postbuckling of simply supported, nanocomposite plates with functionally graded nanotube reinforcements subjected to uniaxial compression in thermal environments. The nanocomposite plates are assumed to be functionally graded in the thickness direction using single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) serving as reinforcements and the plates' effective material properties are estimated through a micromechanical model. The higher order shear deformation plate theory with a von Kármán-type of kinematic nonlinearity is used to model the composite plates and a two-step perturbation technique is performed to determine the buckling loads and postbuckling equilibrium paths. Numerical results for perfect and imperfect, geometrically mid-plane symmetric functionally graded carbon nanotube reinforced composite (FG-CNTRC) plates are obtained under different sets of thermal environmental conditions. The results for uniformly distributed CNTRC plate, which is a special case in the present study, are compared with those of the FG-CNTRC plate. The results show that the buckling loads as well as postbuckling strength of the plate can be significantly increased as a result of a functionally graded nanotube reinforcement. The results reveal that the carbon nanotube volume fraction has a significant effect on the buckling load and postbuckling behavior of CNTRC plates.
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