Mechanical behaviour of carbon nanotubes under combined twisting-bending

B Faria and N Silvestre and JNC Lopes, MECHANICS RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS, 73, 19-24 (2016).

DOI: 10.1016/j.mechrescom.2016.01.010

The main objective of this paper is to investigate the mechanical behaviour (strength and stiffness) of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) under combinations of bending and twisting. In order to achieve this goal, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of bended and twisted CNTs are performed. The LAMMPS code is used, the AIREBO potential is considered for C-C bonds, the temperature is kept at 300 K and incremental bending and twisting rotations are imposed to the CNT. Two types of CNTs are analyzed, including zig-zag (8,0) and armchair (5,5) CNTs with similar radius and length. The CNTs are also analyzed for pure bending and pure twisting. The main results are shown in the form of diagrams of energy and moment against imposed rotations. Some relevant conclusions are drawn concerning the influence of loading (bending and twisting) on the stiffness, strength and failure of CNTs: namely, it is concluded that armchair CNTs possess higher strength and fracture toughness under twisting-bending loading than zigzag CNTs; additionally, it is found that both CNTs (armchair and zigzag) still support moderate-to-high bending levels without failure after being extremely twisted and torsionally buckled, even for twisting angles four times those corresponding to torsional buckling; finally, the results prove that CNTs, mostly armchair ones, exhibit very high twisting-bending stiffness and strength and can be used with confidence as torsional spring elements in nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS). (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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