Reinforcement mechanisms in MWCNT-filled polycarbonate

A. Eitan, F. T. Fisher, R. Andrews, L. C. Brinson, L. S. Schadler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

302 Scopus citations


The filler/matrix interface in fiber-reinforced polymer composites is critical in controlling load transfer from the matrix to the fiber, failure mechanisms, and degradation. It is not clear, however, how the mechanisms of load transfer in traditional composites apply to nanofiber-filled polymers. This paper is focused on understanding the reinforcement mechanisms in multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT)/bisphenol-A polycarbonate (PC) composites. Strain dependent Raman spectroscopy shows that there is load transfer from the matrix to the nanotubes, and that the efficiency of the load transfer is improved by surface modification of the MWCNT. Dynamic mechanical analysis as well as electron microscopy reveals the presence of a large annular interphase region of immobilized polymer surrounding the embedded nanotubes. Micromechanical modeling of the elastic modulus of the composite that accounts for the limited load transfer to the interior shells of the MWCNT suggests this immobilized polymer provides an additional reinforcement mechanism that is unique for nano-filled composites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1162-1173
Number of pages12
JournalComposites Science and Technology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jul 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A.E. and L.S.S. acknowledge the support of the US Army SBCCOM, Natick Soldier Center as well as the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Initiative of the National Science Foundation under NSF Award No. DMR-0117792. F.T.F and L.C.B appreciate the grant support from the NASA University Research, Engineering and Technology Institute on Bio Inspired Materials (BIMat) under Award No. NCC1-02037 and the NASA Langley Research Center Computational Materials: Nanotechnology Modeling and Simulation Program. R.A. thanks the MRSEC Advanced Carbon Materials Center (DMR-98.9686) for support.


  • A. Nanostructures
  • A. Particle-reinforced composites
  • A. Polymer-matrix composites
  • B. Mechanical properties
  • C. Complex moduli

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • General Engineering


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