Comparative Numerical Analyses of Different Carbon Nanotubes Added with Carbon Fiber–Reinforced Polymer Composite

R. Vijayanandh and G. Raj Kumar

Kumaraguru College of Technology

P. Jagadeeshwaran

Rajalakshmi Institute of Technology

Vijayakumar Mathaiyan

Jeju National University

M. Ramesh

Kumaraguru College of Technology

Dong Won Jung

Jeju National University

Introduction about Nanocomposite

Nanocomposites are the upgraded form in which the reinforcement, matrix, and filler all play a key role in the provision of properties and their enhancement. Nowadays, property enhancement is a primary investigating domain in composite materials, which is executed with the help of variations in the constituents of the composite. All the ingredients of the composites such as reinforcement, matrices, core materials, and fillers are undergoing investigation in order to increase the property of composites. In the case of reinforcement, the modifications for enhancement of the property vitally focus on the orientation and the types of reinforcement. When it comes to matrices, the primary focal point for enhancement is delamination, types of fillers, and their properties. Finally, with regard to core materials, the nature of the core materials plays a predominant role in the estimation of property [1]. Honeycombs and foams are perfect options to act as core materials for composites. Ceramics, nanomaterials, and teflons are the good subordinates of matrix for enhancing the characteristics of composites without affecting their lifetime. In this work, the tensile properties of the different nanocomposites are investigated by using advanced numerical simulation, which is based on finite element analysis (FEA) formulation. In this structural simulation, two different types of nanocomposites are used, in which carbon fiber and epoxy resin are fixed and served as reinforcement and additives, respectively. But one modification is executed at the mixture level, which means two different types of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) such as single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) are implemented in the comparative structural analysis [3]. Carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) composite is perfect to tackle aerospace applications, especially they are implemented in mechanical flight control system, empennage, and surface of aeroplane. In order to increase the output reliability of numerical simulation, experimental testing is done for validation purpose in this work [7].

Literature Survey

Guptaa and Harsha [15] involved the CNTs as the primary agent in the polymer composites and thereby executed the FEA-based simulations in which the formulation in FEA, mechanical properties of the materials, types of meshes used, and elemental data implemented in the formation of composites were supported soundly in the current work in order to execute their FEA methodology. Mehar and Panda [17] analyzed the bending behavioral studies of nanocomposites, which were totally different from the nature of the present article; however, the primary theoretical principle information, the usage of computational tool, and mechanical characteristics of nanocomposites were guided in order to attain the preliminary stage. Especially the author of the present article initially struggled to analyze the nanocomposite behavior through ANSYS because of its reliability attainment. But the aforesaid reference provided a clear view on the usage of computational structural methodology and thereby in this work finalized to analyze the tensile behavior of nanocomposites with the help of ANSYS Workbench 16.2. Aubad et al. [19] investigated the structural analyses of hybrid laminate composite, in which MWCNTs, epoxy resin, and carbon fiber/Kevlar fiber were used as leading elements. Also, the FEA-based simulation and experimental testing were exploited to analyze the structural behavior of hybrid laminate composite. In the present comparative study, MWCNTs are involved as one of the primary materials; therefore, the needful data of MWCNTs and its analyzing procedures were extracted from this reference. Particularly, the mechanical properties of MWCNTs, the manufacturing process involved in the nanocomposite construction, and the advanced FEA simulation procedures for nanocomposite test specimen were clearly understood. Du et al. [20] reviewed the status of current need and the problems associated with CNT- based polymer composites, and they found that the nanocomposites have multidisciplinary advantages such as high thermal conductivity, better resisting force against tensile strength, good electrical conductivity, and high strength-to-weight ratio [2]. Because of these wide advantages, the nanocomposites have various industrial applications, for instance, thermal interface devices, optical instruments, electric equipment, and utilization materials for electromagnetic energy. The authors also studied the problems existing in the CNT-based composites: load transformation and its enhancement, and issues in nanocomposite construction in a right manner were found to be major complexities in CNT implementation. Finally, CNT’s execution in polymer composites with respect to its amount of weight percentage, types of matrices used, types of manufacturing processes used, environmental types, etc. was analyzed [4]. The pros and cons have been investigated for all the perspectives. The above review articles contributed a huge amount of data to the present research work, especially the weight percentage level of filler to be added, manufacturing methodology for better production of nanocomposites, and suitable matrix implementation. Gojny et al. [8] worked on the comparative fracture analyses of nanocomposites through experimental testing, wherein all the CNTs have been employed. The present work compares the tensile strength in-between SWCNTs and MWCNTs, extracting major support from the above reference. Rubel et al. [22] reviewed the agglomeration effect of reinforced composites in the presence of CNTs, in which the nature and side effects on both reinforcement and matrices with the addition of CNTs were clearly explained [5].

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