Investigation of Crack Resistance in Single Walled Carbon Nanotube Reinforced Polymer Composites Based on FEM


1 Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Semnan University, Semnan

2 Young Researchers Club, Semnan branch, Islamic Azad University, Semnan


Carbon nanotube (CNT) is considered as a new generation of material possessing superior mechanical,
thermal and electrical properties. The applications of CNT, especially in composite materials, i.e. carbon
nanotube reinforced polymer have received great attention and interest in recent years. To characterize the
influence of CNT on the stress intensity factor of nanocomposites, three fracture modes (opening, shearing
and tearing) are considered. The stress intensity factor of nanocomposites is evaluated using a representative
volume element (RVE) based on the continuum mechanics and finite element method (FEM). Inter-atomic
interactions of CNT are simulated by beam elements in the finite element (FE) model. Non-linear springbased
line elements are employed to simulate the van der Waals (vdW) bonds. In all fracture modes, the
stress intensity factor was determined for pure matrix and matrix reinforced with single-walled carbon
nanotube (SWCNT). Numerical results indicate that the load carrying capacities of the CNTs in a matrix
are evident. Addition of CNTs in a matrix can increase the stiffness of the composite. Finally, the results
showed that utilizing of SWCNT decreased the stress intensity factor and improved crack resistance.