Wednesday, 13 October 2004 - 9:00 AM

This presentation is part of : Nano Materials and Material Systems

Multi-scale Modeling of the In-plane Buckling of Carbon-nanotube/Polymer Orthotropic Plates

Thomas S. Gates, Michael P. Nemeth, Gregory Odegard, and Sarah-Jane Frankland. NASA Langley Research Center, MS 188E, Hampton, VA 23681

The material to be evaluated in the study is a polymer reinforced with single-wall carbon nanotubes. Several distinct nanostructured configurations will be considered including the effects of: nanotube volume fraction, nanotube length, nanotube alignment, and chemical functionalization between the nanotube and the base polymer. The proposed paper has the objective to investigate, through parametric studies, the relationships between the structure of carbon nanotube based composites and the initial in-plane buckling behavior of a flat, orthotropic plate. The approach consists of four primary steps. First, representative volume elements (RVE) of the molecular structure and equivalent-continuum models are determined where the molecular structure is determined using a Molecular Dynamics simulation. Next, the energies of deformation for the molecular and equivalent continuum models are determined. The energy of deformation of the equivalent-continuum model is evaluated using the assumed governing constitutive equation. Thirdly, the molecular and equivalent-continuum models are both subjected to a series of identical boundary conditions, and the energies of deformation from the two models are equated for each case, thus resolving the unknown equivalent-continuum properties. Finally, the fourth step is the buckling analysis of an orthotropic plate subjected to uniform axial, shear, and bending loads. The buckling analysis is based on methods that can account for material-induced coupling between bending and twisting deformations given a range of geometric constraints and boundary conditions.

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