A unidirectional carbon fiber/epoxy lamina in which the carbon fibers are coated with single-walled carbon nanotubes is modeled with a multi-scale method, the atomistically informed rule-of-mixtures. This multi-scale model is designed to include the effect of the carbon nanotubes on the constitutive properties of the lamina. It included concepts from the molecular dynamics/equivalent continuum methods, micromechanics, and the strength of materials. Within the model both the nanotube volume fraction and nanotube distribution were varied. It was found that for a lamina with 60% carbon fiber volume fraction, the Young's modulus in the fiber direction varied with changes in the nanotube distribution, from 138.8 to 140 GPa with nanotube volume fractions ranging from 0.0001 to 0.0125. The presence of nanotube near the surface of the carbon fiber is therefore expected to have a small, but positive, effect on the constitutive properties of the lamina.
2005 MRS Fall Meeting; November 28-December 2, 2005; Boston, MA; United States