Finite Element Modelling and Molecular Dynamic Simulations of Carbon nanotubes/ Polymer Composites
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Modeling of single-walled carbon nanotubes, multi-walled nanotubes and nanotube reinforced polymer composites using both the Finite Element method and the Molecular Dynamic simulation technique is presented. Nanotubes subjected to mechanical loading have been analyzed. Elastic moduli and thermal coefficient of expansion are calculated and their variation with diameter and length is investigated. In particular, the nanotubes are modeled using 3D elastic beam finite elements with six degrees of freedom at each node. The difficulty in modeling multi walled nanotubes is the van der Waal's forces between adjacent layers which are geometrically non linear in nature. These forces are modeled using truss elements. The nanotube-polymer interface in a nano-composite is modeled on a similar basis. While performing the molecular dynamic simulations, the geometric optimization is performed initially to obtain the minimized configuration and then the desired temperature is attained by rescaling the velocities of carbon atoms in the nanotube. Results show that the Young's modulus increases with tube diameter in molecular mechanics whereas decreases in molecular dynamics since the inter-atomic potential due to chemical reactions between the atoms is taken into consideration in molecular dynamics unlike in molecular mechanics.
Gaddamanugu, Dhatri (2009). Finite Element Modelling and Molecular Dynamic Simulations of Carbon nanotubes/ Polymer Composites. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from