2009 Volume 50 Issue 3 Pages 436-445
The purpose of this research is to experimentally and numerically evaluate the mechanical performance of carbon nanotube (CNT)-reinforced polymer composites subjected to tension in a cryogenic environment. Cryogenic tensile tests were conducted on CNT/polycarbonate composites to identify the effects of CNTs on their tensile properties. Finite element computations were also conducted using a model for the representative volume element (RVE) of CNT-reinforced composites in order to determine the effective composite elastic modulus and the stress state within the composites. The possible existence of the imperfect interface bonding between the CNT and the matrix was considered in the finite element model. The CNT properties used in the analysis were obtained by employing an analytical molecular structural mechanics model. The numerical findings were then correlated with the experimental results.