Finite Element Analysis of Carbon Nanotube(CNT)-Reinforced Composites having a Broken CNT

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The present thesis deals with three dimensional (3D) finite element (FE) analysis of carbon nanotube (CNT)-reinforced composites starting with determination of thermoelastic properties to failure analysis of such composites having a defect in the form of broken CNT fiber. Owing to the fact that experimental determination of thermoelastic properties of CNT composites are difficult, FE analysis has been performed on a representative volume element (RVE) of the CNT-reinforced composites to determine thermoelastic properties and to understand not only the effect of important parameters on the properties but also the effect of types of modeling on the estimated properties. Eight noded solid elements have been used to develop the FE model and appropriate properties of matrix and the CNT are input. Different types of matrix materials viz. polymer, metal and ceramic; and nonlinear stress strain relation of the CNT has been considered in the analysis. Considering the fact that CNTs are the main load bearing member and volume fraction of CNTs in CNT-reinforced composites are much lower compared to that in conventional fiber (like glass or carbon) reinforced composites, it is important to understand the consequence of having one or more CNTs defective which may break during loading.
Supervisor: Debabrata Chakraborty