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J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2012 Nov;12(11):8330-6.

Micro/Nanomechanical characterization of multi-walled carbon nanotubes reinforced epoxy composite.

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Materials and Nanotechnology Program, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58108, USA.


In this paper, the mechanical properties of 1 wt.% multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) reinforced epoxy nanocomposites were characterized using a self-designed micro/nano three point bending tester that was on an atomic force microscope (AFM) to in situ observe MWCNTs movement on the sample surface under loading. The migration of an individual MWCNT at the surface of the nanocomposite was tracked to address the nanomechanical reinforcing mechanism of the nanocomposites. Through morphology analysis of the nanocomposite via scanning electron microscopy, AFM, and digital image correlation technique, it was found that the MWCNTs agglomerate and the bundles were the main factors for limiting the bending strength of the composites. The agglomeration/bundle effect was included in the Halpin-Tsai model to account for the elastic modulus of the nanocomposites.

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