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Electrical Response of Carbon Nanotube Reinforced Nanocomposites Under Static and Dynamic Loading


An experimental investigation was conducted to study the effect of quasi-static and dynamic compressive loading on the electrical response of multi-wall carbon nanotube (MWCNT) reinforced epoxy nanocomposites. An in-situ polymerization process using both a shear mixer and an ultrasonic processor were employed to fabricate the nanocomposite material. The fabrication process parameters and the optimum weight fraction of MWCNTs for generating a well-dispersed percolation network were first determined. Absolute resistance values were measured with a high-resolution four-point probe method for both quasi-static and dynamic loading. In addition to measuring the percentage change in electrical resistance, real-time damage was captured using high-speed photography. The real-time damage was correlated to both load and percentage change in resistance profiles. The experimental findings indicate that the bulk electrical resistance of the nanocomposites under both quasi-static and dynamic loading conditions initially decreased between 40%–60% during compression and then increased as damage initiated and propagated.

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This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under grant number CMMI 0856133.

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Correspondence to A. Shukla.

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Heeder, N.J., Shukla, A., Chalivendra, V. et al. Electrical Response of Carbon Nanotube Reinforced Nanocomposites Under Static and Dynamic Loading. Exp Mech 52, 315–322 (2012).

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  • Electrical response
  • Carbon nanotube/polymer composites
  • Dynamic response
  • Quasi-static response
  • Four-point probe method