Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 43, Issue 13, pp 4487–4492 | Cite as

High-cycle fatigue of hybrid carbon nanotube/glass fiber/polymer composites

  • Christopher S. Grimmer
  • C. K. H. DharanEmail author


Glass fiber polymer composites have high strength, low cost, but suffer from poor performance in fatigue. Mechanisms for high-cycle (>104 cycles) fatigue failure in glass fiber composites consist primarily of matrix-dominated damage accumulation and growth that coalesce and propagate into the fibers resulting in ultimate fatigue failure. This investigation shows that the addition of small volume fractions of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in the matrix results in a significant increase in the high-cycle fatigue life. Cyclic hysteresis measured over each cycle in real time during testing is used as a sensitive indicator of fatigue damage. We show that hysteresis growth with cycling is suppressed when CNTs are present with resulting longer cyclic life. Incorporating CNTs into the matrix tends to inhibit the formation of large cracks since a large density of nucleation sites are provided by the CNTs. In addition, the increase in energy absorption from the fracture of nanotubes bridging across nanoscale cracks and nanotube pull-out from the matrix is thought to contribute to the higher fatigue life of glass composites containing CNTs. High-resolution scanning electron microscopy suggests possible mechanisms for energy absorption including nanotube pull-out and fracture. The distributed nanotubes in the matrix appear to inhibit damage propagation resulting in overall improved fatigue strength and durability.


Fatigue Fatigue Life Glass Composite Carbon Fiber Composite Neat Resin 



This work was supported in part by a grant from Entropy Research Laboratories, San Francisco, California, USA.


  1. 1.
    Dharan CKH (1975) ASTM Spec Tech Publ 569:171Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Dharan CKH (1975) J Mater Sci 10:1655. doi: CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hahn HT, Kim RY (1976) J Compos Mater 10:156. doi: CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Degrieck J, Van Paepegem W (2001) Appl Mech Rev 54(4):279. doi: CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Saghizadeh H, Dharan CKH (1986) J Eng Mater Technol: Trans ASME 108(4):290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ren Y, Li F, Cheng HM, Liao K (2003) Adv Compos Lett 12(1):19Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ganguli S, Aglan H (2006) J Reinforc Plast Compos 25(2):175. doi: CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gojny FH, Wichmann MHG, Fiedler B, Bauhofer W, Schulte K (2005) Composites A 36:1525. doi: CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kim JA, Seong DG, Kang TJ, Youn JR (2006) Carbon 44:1898. doi: CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Wong M, Paramsothy M, Xu XJ, Ren Y, Li S, Liao K (2003) Polymer 44(25):7757. doi: CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wang SS, Chim ES-M (1983) J Compos Mater 17:114. doi: CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Stinchcomb WW, Reifsnider KL (1979) ASTM Spec Tech Publ 675:782Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Owen MJ, Howe RJ (1972) J Phys D App Phys 5(9):1637CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Dharan CKH, Tan TF (2007) J Mater Sci 42(6):2204. doi: CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Fan Z, Hsiao KT, Advani SG (2004) Carbon 42:871. doi: CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

Personalised recommendations