||CMES: Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences, Vol. 56, No. 3, pp. 231-248, 2010
||Full length paper in PDF format. Size = 961,397 bytes
||Carbon nanotube, Finite element method, Mechanical properties, Interface, Nanocomposite.
||A hybrid finite element formulation, combining nanoscopic and macroscopic considerations is proposed, for the prediction of the elastic mechanical properties of single walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT)-based composites. The nanotubes are modeled according to the molecular mechanics theory via the use of spring elements, while the matrix is modeled as a continuum medium. A new formulation concerning the load transfer between the nanotubes and matrix is proposed. The interactions between the two phases are implemented by utilizing appropriate stiffness variations describing a heterogeneous interfacial region. A periodic distribution and orientation of the SWCNTs is considered. Thereupon, the nanocomposite is modeled using a three dimensional finite element unit cell, which is subjected to longitudinal as well as transverse loadings in order to obtain the mechanical properties in these directions. The Halpin-Tsai equations are used to extract the mechanical properties for randomly oriented SWCNTs. The formulation is validated through comparison of the predicted mechanical responses to corresponding solutions, obtained from the literature.