Carbon nanotubes within polymer matrix can synergistically enhance mechanical energy dissipation. Academic Article uri icon


  • Safe operation and health of structures relies on their ability to effectively dissipate undesired vibrations, which could otherwise significantly reduce the life-time of a structure due to fatigue loads or large deformations. To address this issue, nanoscale fillers, such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs), have been utilized to dissipate mechanical energy in polymer-based nanocomposites through filler-matrix interfacial friction by benefitting from their large interface area with the matrix. In this manuscript, for the first time, we experimentally investigate the effect of CNT alignment with respect to reach other and their orientation with respect to the loading direction on vibrational damping in nanocomposites. The matrix was polystyrene (PS). A new technique was developed to fabricate PS-CNT nanocomposites which allows for controlling the angle of CNTs with respect to the far-field loading direction (misalignment angle). Samples were subjected to dynamic mechanical analysis, and the damping of the samples were measured as the ratio of the loss to storage moduli versus CNT misalignment angle. Our results defied a notion that randomly oriented CNT nanocomposites can be approximated as a combination of matrix-CNT representative volume elements with randomly aligned CNTs. Instead, our results points to major contributions of stress concentration induced by each CNT in the matrix in proximity of other CNTs on vibrational damping. The stress fields around CNTs in PS-CNT nanocomposites were studied via finite element analysis. Our findings provide significant new insights not only on vibrational damping nanocomposites, but also on their failure modes and toughness, in relation to interface phenomena.

published proceedings

  • Nanotechnology

author list (cited authors)

  • Ashraf, T., Ranaiefar, M., Khatri, S., Kavosi, J., Gardea, F., Glaz, B., & Naraghi, M.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Ashraf, Taimoor||Ranaiefar, Meelad||Khatri, Sumit||Kavosi, Jamshid||Gardea, Frank||Glaz, Bryan||Naraghi, Mohammad

publication date

  • March 2018