Computational Design of High Strength, Multifunctional, Continuously Reinforced Carbon Nanotube-Polymer Composites

Grants and Contracts Details


Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are a new class of materials that have superior mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties. CNTs have been previously attempted to make CNT fibers-polymer composites. However, the resultant materials have not exhibited the ideal properties as promised. This is because that the CNT fibers are relatively short and their distributions in polymer matrices are discontinuous, random, and often agglomerated. The CNT fibers also become highly wavy during molding processes and thus significantly lose their strength. Further, because the fibers are discontinuously dispersed in matrices, the resultant composites could not provide the multifunctional performances as promised. Recently, a new form of carbon nanotube material, the super long, vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (VA-CNTs) have been developed, which have provided new promises for making ultra-strong composites. These ultra oriented, light weight nanotubes can essentially function as continuous fibers to form the next generation, high strength composites. The present project aims to accelerate the design of these high strength composites through innovated "Integrated Computational Material Engineering (ICME)" material development model. Major tasks are: (1) to develop effective computational models to design the architectures of carbon nanotube-polymer composites, and (2) to develop analytical tools to predict the structure-processing-properties relationships, The proposed project supports the "Nanotechnology" mission of NASA Office of the Chief Technologist and is also in line with all NASA Mission Directorates. The proposal is in the category of KY Space Grant Undergraduate Student Scholarships (US) and the fund is used to support one undergraduate student.
Effective start/end date1/1/1512/31/15


  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration


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