Multiscale modeling of regularly staggered carbon fibers embedded in nano-reinforced composites

SI Kundalwal and SA Meguid, EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF MECHANICS A-SOLIDS, 64, 69-84 (2017).

DOI: 10.1016/j.euromechsol.2017.01.014

This article deals with the multiscale modeling of stress transfer characteristics of nano-reinforced polymer composite reinforced with regularly staggered carbon fibers. The distinctive feature of construction of nano-reinforced composite is such that the microscale carbon fibers are packed in hexagonal array in the carbon nanotube reinforced polymer matrix (CNRP). We considered three different cases of CNRP, in which carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are: (i) aligned along the direction of carbon fiber, (ii) aligned radially to the axis of carbon fiber, and (iii) randomly dispersed. Accordingly, multiscale models were developed. First, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and then Mori- Tanaka technique were used to estimate the effective elastic properties of CNRP. Second, a micromechanical three-phase shear lag model was developed considering the staggering effect of microscale fibers and the application of radial loads on the cylindrical representative volume element (RVE) of nano-reinforced composite. Our results reveal that the stress transfer characteristics of the nano-reinforced composite are significantly improved by controlling the CNT morphology, particularly, when they are randomly dispersed around the microscale fiber. The results from the developed shear lag model were also validated with the finite element shear lag simulations and found to be in good agreement. (C) 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

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