Modeling the effective elastic properties of nanocomposites with circular straight CNT fibers reinforced in the epoxy matrix

Chetan S. Jarali, Subhas F. Patil, Sharanabasava C. Pilli, Y. Charles Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


In the present study, the consistent effective elastic properties of straight, circular carbon nanotube epoxy composites are derived using the micromechanics theory. The CNT composites are known to provide high stiffness and elastic properties when the shape of the fibers is cylindrical and straight. Accordingly, in the present work, the effective elastic moduli of composite are newly obtained for straight, circular CNTs aligned in the specified direction as well as distributed randomly in the matrix. In this direction, novel analytical expressions are proposed for four cases of fiber property. First, aligned, and straight CNTs are considered with transverse isotropy in fiber coordinates, and the composite properties are also transversely isotropic in global coordinates. The short comings in the earlier developments are effectively addressed by deriving the consistent form of the strain tensor and the stiffness tensor of the CNT nanocomposite. Subsequently, effective relations for composites reinforced with aligned, straight CNTs but fibers isotropic in local coordinates are newly developed under hydrostatic loading. The effect of the unsymmetric Eshelby tensor for cylindrical fibers on the overall properties of the nanocomposite is included by deriving the strain concentration tensors. Next, the random distribution of CNT fibers in the matrix is studied with fibers being transversely isotropic as well as isotropic when CNT nanocomposites are subjected to uniform loading. The corresponding relations for the effective elastic properties are newly derived. The modeling technique is validated with results reported, and the variations in the effective properties for different CNT volume fractions are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3160-3172
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Materials Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • General Materials Science
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)


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