Correlation between interfacial molecular structure and mechanics in CNT/epoxy nano-composites

Noa Lachman, H. Daniel Wagner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We study the effect of the molecular nature of the interface between an epoxy matrix and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on the mechanical properties of the resultant nano-composites, with emphasis on toughness. A number of samples based on variously functionalized CNTs, namely, pristine, carboxylated, and aminated CNTs are examined, with different qualities of dispersion. Nano-composite toughness is found to increase with enhanced interfacial adhesion, an effect that is opposite to what is usually observed in traditional fiber-based composites. The classical pull-out energy model is shown to effectively explain this result. It is thus possible to tune the toughness of a nano-composite by adjusting the molecular nature of its interface and the CNT characteristics, namely its strength and its length relative to its critical length.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1093-1098
Number of pages6
JournalComposites - Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
Volume41
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • A. Nano-structures
  • B. Fracture toughness
  • B. Interface/interphase
  • C. Micro-mechanics

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