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Sensing Interfacial Damage Initiation, Evolution and Accumulation in Carbon Nanotube-Polymer Nanocomposites Under Cyclic Loading: A Computational Micromechanics Approach

[+] Author Affiliations
Adarsh K. Chaurasia, Gary D. Seidel

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Paper No. SMASIS2014-7592, pp. V001T01A020; 15 pages
  • ASME 2014 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems
  • Volume 1: Development and Characterization of Multifunctional Materials; Modeling, Simulation and Control of Adaptive Systems; Structural Health Monitoring; Keynote Presentation
  • Newport, Rhode Island, USA, September 8–10, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Aerospace Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4614-8
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


The current 2-scale computational multiscale micromechanics based exploration of sensing capabilities in carbon nanotube (CNT)-polymer nanocomposites focuses on the macroscale piezoresistive response when the nanocomposite is subjected to cyclic loading conditions. It has been shown that electron hopping at the nanoscale is the primary mechanism behind the observed macroscale piezoresistivity for such nanocomposites. A novel continuum description of the non-continuum electron hopping effect used in the current work enables the use of multiscale continuum micromechanics based approaches to study nanocomposite piezoresistivity. The focus of the current work is on the interfacial separation/damage initiation, evolution and accumulation when subjected to cyclic loading. Interfacial separation/damage is allowed at the nanoscale CNT-polymer interface using electromechanical cohesive zones to account for electron hopping across the separated interface. The mechanical response of the CNT-polymer interface is obtained in terms of normal/tangential traction-separation behavior from atomistic scale Molecular Dynamics based models. The coupled electrostatic response is based on evolving interfacial resistance through the electron hopping induced current density across the separated interface. Such coupled electromechanical description allowing for current density across the separated interface in addition to normal/tangential tractions is unique in its implementation to the best of the authors knowledge. It is observed that the effective macroscale piezoresistive response obtained from the current modeling framework captures interfacial separation/damage state and shows sensitivity to damage accumulation over several cycles. Such exploration of the governing physical mechanisms starting at the smallest scale of influence and transitioning into macroscale effective properties provides key insights into the multiscale problem.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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