Analytical and Computational Micromechanics Analysis of the Effects of Interphase Regions, Orientation, and Clustering on the Effective Coefficient of Thermal Expansion of Carbon Nanotube-Polymer Nanocomposites

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Virginia Tech


Analytic and computational micromechanics techniques based on the composite cylinders method and the finite element method, respectively, have been used to determine the effective coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of carbon nanotube-epoxy nanocomposites containing aligned nanotubes. Both techniques have been used in a parametric study of the influence of interphase stiffness and interphase CTE on the effective CTE of the nanocomposites.  For both the axial and transverse CTE of aligned nanotube nanocomposites with and without interphase regions, the computational and analytic micromechanics techniques were shown to give similar results.  The Mori-Tanka method has been used to account for the effect of randomly oriented fibers.   Analytic and computational micromechanics techniques have also been used to assess the effects of clustering and clustering with interphase on the effective CTE components.  Clustering is observed to have a minimal impact on the effective axial CTE of the nanocomposite and a 3-10%.  However, there is a combined effect with clustering and one of the interphase layers.



multiscale, carbon nanotube, thermal expansion, interphase, bundling, orientation, micromechanics