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Progress on Mechanics of Carbon Nanotubes and Derived Materials

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This review focuses on the most recent progress in understanding mechanical properties of individual carbon nanotubes (CNT), carbon nanotube arrays, random networks, and polymer matrix composites. The key factors that influence the mechanical properties of these new (nano)materials are identified and discussed. The critical issue appears to be the load transfer efficiency; between nanotubes when organized in bundles, ropes, and networks; between matrix and nanotubes in composites. Among the different paths used to increase load transfer, cross-linking by irradiation is emphasized. A particular attention is paid on the role of nanotubes as nucleating agents in polymer composites, initiating the formation of a crystalline polymer sheath that has important consequence on the mechanical properties. The reinforcing element to be considered in that case is not CNT alone but CNT covered with a cylinder of crystalline polymer. Whereas a lot of effort has been focused on the problem of dispersion, it appears that the problem of nanotube-matrix interphase is almost as important. Recent works show that appropriate surface functionalization can be used both to improve dispersion and tailor the interphase. Nanotube surface engineering combined with methods producing oriented nanocomposites should bring exceptional materials in the near future.
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2006-07-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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