Acta Mechanica

, Volume 217, Issue 1, pp 1–16

Multiscale modeling of the nonlinear response of nano-reinforced polymers


DOI: 10.1007/s00707-010-0377-7

Cite this article as:
Wernik, J. & Meguid, S. Acta Mech (2011) 217: 1. doi:10.1007/s00707-010-0377-7


The present study uses a nonlinear representative volume element (RVE) to investigate the effective mechanical properties of a nano-reinforced polymer system. Here, the RVE represents the reinforcing carbon nanotube (CNT), the surrounding polymer matrix, and the CNT–polymer interface. Due to the inherent nanoscale involved in simulating CNT structures, an atomistic description is incorporated via the atomistic-based continuum multiscale modeling technique. In this way, the continuum constitutive relations are derived solely from atomistic formulations. The nonlinear response of armchair and zigzag nanotubes and their nano-reinforced polymer equivalents are considered and presented. The results reveal that reinforcing polymeric matrices with 1 to 10 vol% CNTs can result in upward of approximately 23- and 8-fold increases in the tensile and shear stiffness, respectively. These results have a direct bearing on the design and development of nano-reinforced composites.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mechanics and Aerospace Design Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Industrial EngineeringUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada