A Finite Element Model for Estimating Young-s Modulus of Carbon Nanotube Reinforced Composites Incorporating Elastic Cross-Links

The presence of chemical bonding between functionalized carbon nanotubes and matrix in carbon nanotube reinforced composites is modeled by elastic beam elements representing covalent bonding characteristics. Neglecting other reinforcing mechanisms in the composite such as relatively weak interatomic Van der Waals forces, this model shows close results to the Rule of Mixtures model-s prediction for effective Young-s modulus of a Representative Volume Element of composite for small volume fractions (~1%) and high aspect ratios (L/D>200) of CNTs.