Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 41, Issue 23, pp 7824–7829 | Cite as

Utilizing interfaces in carbon nanotube reinforced polymer composites for structural damping

  • Pulickel M. AjayanEmail author
  • Jonghwan Suhr
  • Nikhil Koratkar


Carbon nanotube reinforced polymer composites have been extensively researched [Shadler LS, Giannaris SC, Ajayan PM (1998) Appl Phys Lett 73:3842; Ajayan PM, Shadler LS, Giannaris C, Rubio A (2000) Adv Mater 12:750; Wagner HD, Lourie O, Feldman Y, Tenne R (1998) Appl Phys Lett 72:188; Thostenson ET, Chou T-W (2002) J Phys D: Appl Phys 35:L77] for their strength and stiffness properties. The interfaces between nanotubes and polymer matrix can play a critical role in nanocomposites for their mechanical properties, since the interfacial area is order of magnitude more than traditional composites. Unless the interface is carefully engineered, poor load transfer between individual nanotubes (in bundles) and between nanotubes and surrounding polymer chains may result in interfacial slippage [Shadler et al. (1998); Ajayan et al. (2000)] and consequently disappointing mechanical stiffness and strength. Interfacial slippage, while detrimental to high stiffness and strength, could result in very high mechanical damping, which is a hugely important attribute in many commercial applications. In this paper, we show that the mechanical damping is related to frictional energy dissipation during interfacial sliding at the extremely many nanotube-polymer interfaces, and characterize the impact of activation of the frictional sliding on damping behavior.


Storage Modulus Strain Amplitude Loss Modulus Interfacial Slip Radial Compressive Stress 



We acknowledge funding support from the US Army Research Office (Structures and Dynamics Program).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pulickel M. Ajayan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jonghwan Suhr
    • 2
  • Nikhil Koratkar
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringRensselaer Polytechnic InstituteTroyUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear EngineeringRensselaer Polytechnic InstituteTroyUSA

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