Enhanced mechanical properties of carbon nanotube networks by mobile and discrete binders

C Wang and LF Wang and ZP Xu, CARBON, 64, 237-244 (2013).

DOI: 10.1016/j.carbon.2013.07.058

The mechanical enhancement of carbon nanotube (CNT) networks by mobile and discrete binders was explored by performing coarse-grained molecular dynamics (CGMD) simulations. The underlying mechanism of modifying deformation affinity is elucidated. We perform tensile tests and dynamical mechanical analysis (DMA) to quantify the strength, energy dissipation capacity, and viscoelastic performance of the material. Simulation results show that binders are apt to aggregate and cluster at the junctions between CNTs, resisting the reorientation, bundling and sliding processes that lead to microstructural evolution of the network. The effects enhance the strength, energy dissipation capacity and storage modulus of the network generally. Their dependence on the interfacial adhesion energy and weight fraction of binders is discussed in detail based on the simulation results. The findings here pave the way for tuning properties of CNT networks for mechanical, electrochemical, and filtration applications. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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