Multiscale modeling of stress transfer in continuous microscale fiber reinforced composites with nano-engineered interphase

SI Kundalwal and S Kumar, MECHANICS OF MATERIALS, 102, 117-131 (2016).

DOI: 10.1016/j.mechmat.2016.09.002

This study is focused on the mechanical properties and stress transfer behavior of multiscale composites containing nano- and micro-scale reinforcements. The distinctive feature of construction of this composite is such that the carbon nanostructures (CNS) are dispersed in the matrix around the continuous microscale fiber to modify microfiber- matrix interfacial adhesion. Such CNS are considered to be made of aligned CNTs (A-CNTs). Accordingly, multiscale models are developed for such hybrid composites. First, molecular dynamics simulations in conjunction with the Mori-Tanaka method are used to determine the effective elastic properties of nano-engineered interphase layer composed of CNS and epoxy. Subsequently, a micromechanical pull-out model for a continuous fiber multi-scale composite is developed, and stress transfer behavior is studied for different orientations of CNS considering their perfect and imperfect interfacial bonding conditions with the surrounding epoxy. Such interface condition was modeled using the linear spring layer model with a continuous traction but a displacement jump. The current pull-out model accounts for the radial as well as the axial deformations of different orthotropic constituent phases of the multiscale composite. The results from the developed pull- out model are compared with those of the finite element analyses and are found to be in good agreement. Our results reveal that the stress transfer characteristics of the multiscale composite are significantly improved by controlling the CNT morphology around the fiber, particularly, when they are aligned along the axial direction of the microscale fiber. The results also show that the CNS-epoxy interface weakening significantly influences the radial stress along the length of the microscale fiber. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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