Micromechanics modeling of functionally graded interphase regions in carbon nanotube-polymer composites Conference Paper uri icon


  • The effective elastic properties of a unidirectional carbon fiber/epoxy lamina in which the carbon fibers are coated with single-walled carbon nanotubes are modeled herein through the use of a multi-scale method involving the molecular dynamics/equivalent continuum and micromechanics methods. The specific lamina representative volume element studied consists of a carbon fiber surrounded by a region of epoxy containing a radially varying concentration of carbon nanotubes which is then embedded in the pure epoxy matrix. The variable concentration of carbon nanotubes surrounding the carbon fiber results in a functionally graded interphase region as the properties of the interphase region vary according to the carbon nanotube volume fraction. Molecular dynamics and equivalent continuum methods are used to assess the local effective properties of the carbon nanotube/epoxy comprising the interphase region. Micromechanics in the form of the Mori-Tanaka method are then applied to obtain the global effective properties of the graded interphase region wherein the carbon nanotubes are randomly oriented. Finally, the multi-layer composite cylinders micromechanics approach is used to obtain the effective lamina properties from the lamina representative volume element. It was found that even very small quantities of carbon nanotubes (0.36% of lamina by volume) coating the surface of the carbon fibers in the lamina can have a significant effect (8% increase) on the transverse properties of the lamina (E22, 23, G23 and G12) with almost no affect on the lamina properties in the fiber direction (E11 and v12). Copyright 2006 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • Collection of Technical Papers - AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference

author list (cited authors)

  • Seidel, G. D., Lagoudas, D. C., Frankland, S., & Gates, T. S.

complete list of authors

  • Seidel, GD||Lagoudas, DC||Frankland, SJV||Gates, TS

publication date

  • December 2006