The atomic-level computational results of the mechanical properties of Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotube (MWCNT) reinforced poly-vinyl-ester-epoxy obtained in our recent work [Grujicic M, Sun Y-P, Koudela KL (2006) Appl Surf Sci (accepted for publication, March)], have been utilized in the present work within a continuum-based micro-mechanics formulation to determine the effective macroscopic mechanical properties of these materials. Since the MWCNT reinforcements and the polymer-matrix molecules are of comparable length scales, the reinforcement/matrix interactions which control the matrix-to-reinforcement load transfer in these materials are accounted for through direct atomic-level modeling of the “effective reinforcement” mechanical properties. The term an “effective reinforcement” is used to denote a MWCNT surrounded by a layer of the polymer matrix whose thickness is comparable to the MWCNT radius and whose conformation is changed as a result of its interactions with the MWCNT. The micro-mechanics procedure yielded the effective continuum mechanical properties for the MWCNT-reinforced poly-vinyl-ester-epoxy matrix composite mats with a random in-plane orientation of the MWCNTs as a function of the following composite microstructural parameters: the volume fraction of the MWCNTs, their aspect ratio, the extent of covalent functionalization of the MWCNT outer walls as well as a function of the mechanical properties of the matrix and the reinforcements.
Load Transfer Orientation Distribution Function Covalent Functionalization Reinforcement Volume Fraction Composite Armor
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The material presented in this paper is based on work supported by the Naval Research Office ender the Grant Number N00014-05-1-0844, by the U.S. Army/Clemson University Cooperative Agreement Number W911NF-04-2-0024 and by the U.S. Army Grant Number DAAD19-01-1-0661. The authors are indebted to Dr. Tom Juska of the Naval Research Laboratory and to Drs. Walter Roy, Bryan Cheeseman and Fred Stanton from the Army Research Laboratory.