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A Numerical Model to Study the Effect of Temperature on Electrical Conductivity of Polymer-CNT Nanocomposites

[+] Author Affiliations
Amirhossein B. Oskouyi, Pierre Mertiny

University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Uttandraman Sundararaj

University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada

Paper No. IMECE2013-62602, pp. V009T10A065; 6 pages
  • ASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 9: Mechanics of Solids, Structures and Fluids
  • San Diego, California, USA, November 15–21, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5638-3
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


In this study the effect of the temperature on the electrical conductivity of nanocomposites with carbon nanotube (CNT) fillers was investigated. A three-dimensional continuum Monte Carlo model was developed and employed first to form a CNT percolation network. CNT fillers were randomly generated and dispersed in a cubic representative volume element. Periodic boundary conditions were applied in this model to minimize size effects while decreasing computational cost. CNT fibers that connected electrically to each other through electron hopping were recognized and grouped as clusters. In addition to tunneling resistance, the effect of intrinsic CNT resistivity was considered. A three-dimensional resistor network was subsequently developed to evaluate nanocomposite electrical properties. Modeling employing the finite element method was conducted to evaluate the electrical conductivity of the percolation network. Considering the determining role of tunneling resistance on electrical conductivity of CNT based nanocomposites, as well as results obtained from experimental studies, temperature was expected to play an important role in nanocomposite electrical properties. The effect of temperature on electrical conductivity of CNT nanocomposites was thus investigated through employing the developed Monte Carlo and finite element models. Other aspects, including the electrical behavior of the polymer, tunneling resistivity and the intrinsic resistivity of CNT were considered in this study as well. The comprehensiveness of the developed modeling approach enables an evaluation of results in conjunction with experimental data in future works.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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