Material Characterization and Modeling of Single-Wall Carbon Nanotube/Polyelectrolyte Multilayer Nanocomposites

[+] Author and Article Information
Gang Huang, Bo Wang

School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,  Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078

Hongbing Lu1

School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,  Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078hongbin@ceat.okstate.edu

Arif Mamedov, Sachin Gupta

 Nomadics, 1024 S. Innovation Way, Stillwater, OK 74074


Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

J. Appl. Mech 73(5), 737-744 (Apr 24, 2006) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2206196 History: Received December 20, 2004; Revised April 24, 2006

Strong single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) possess very high stiffness and strength. They have potential for use to tailor the material design to reach desired mechanical properties through SWNT nanocomposites. Layer-by-layer (LBL) assembly technique is an effective method to fabricate SWNT/polyelectrolyte nanocomposite films. To determine the relationship between the constituents of the SWNT/polymer nanocomposites made by LBL technique, a method has been developed to extend the recent work by Liu and Chen (Mech. Mater., 35, pp. 69–81, 2003) for the calculation of the effective Young’s modulus. The work by Liu and Chen on the mixture model is evaluated by finite element analysis of nanocomposites with SWNT volume fraction between 0% and 5%. An equivalent length coefficient is introduced and determined from finite element analysis. A formula is presented using this coefficient to determine the effective Young’s modulus. It is identified that the current work can be applied to SWNT loadings between 0% and 5%, while Liu and Chen’s approach is appropriate for relatively high SWNT volume fractions, close to 5%, but is not appropriate for relatively low SWNT volume fractions. The results obtained from this method are used to determine the effective Young’s modulus of SWNT/polyelectrolyte nanocomposite with 4.7% SWNT loading. The material properties are characterized using both nanoindentation and tensile tests. Nanoindentation results indicate that both the in-plane relaxation modulus and the through-thickness relaxation modulus of SWNT nanocomposites are very close to each other, despite the orientation preference of the SWNTs in the nanocomposites. The steady state in-plane Young’s relaxation modulus compares well with the tensile modulus, and measurement results are compared with Young’s modulus determined from the method presented.

Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Schematic of the mixture model

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Figure 2

First set of FEM model for matrix embedded with three SWNTs

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Figure 3

Second set of FEM models

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Figure 4

SEM and AFM images (a) SEM image of cross section of LBL SWNT composites film, (b) AFM image of surface of a monolayer film with 4.7% of SWNTs

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Figure 5

Stress-strain curves from tensile testing

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Figure 6

Load-displacement curves from nanoindentation tests of SWNT/polyelectrolyte films in the in-plane and through-thickness directions. (a) In-plane load-displacement curves, (b) Through-thickness load-displacement curves.

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Figure 7

Equivalent length coefficient ξ=ξ(l0∕l1,fNT);(a)ξ versus l0∕l1 curves, (b)ξ versus fNT curves

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Figure 8

Comparison of the effective Young’s modulus determined from the dilute approximation approach, FEM, and the formula Eq. 5




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