Review Articles

Recent Developments in Multifunctional Nanocomposites Using Carbon Nanotubes

[+] Author and Article Information
Jacob M. Wernik

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Mechanics and Aerospace Design Laboratory, University of Toronto, 5 King’s College Road, Toronto, ON, M5S 3G8, Canada

Shaker A. Meguid1

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Mechanics and Aerospace Design Laboratory, University of Toronto, 5 King’s College Road, Toronto, ON, M5S 3G8, Canadameguid@mie.utoronto.ca


Corresponding author.

Appl. Mech. Rev 63(5), 050801 (Feb 18, 2011) (40 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4003503 History: Received September 13, 2010; Revised January 14, 2011; Published February 18, 2011; Online February 18, 2011

This review summarizes the most recent advances in multifunctional polymer nanocomposites reinforced by carbon nanotubes and aims to stimulate further research in this field. Experimental and theoretical investigations of the mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties of carbon nanotubes and their composite counterparts are presented. This review identifies the processing challenges associated with this class of materials and presents techniques that are currently being adopted to address these challenges and their relative merits. This review suggests possible future trends, opportunities, and challenges in the field and introduces the use of these multifunctional nanocomposites in structural health monitoring applications.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 3

Unrolled graphene sheet and the chiral lattice vector

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Figure 4

TEM images of commercial CNFs, highlighting structural variations in the orientation of the graphitic planes (from Ref. 347)

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Figure 5

sp2 hybridization process and the resulting σ- and π-bonds

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Figure 1

Early bright field SEM image of a MWCNT (from Ref. 28)

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Figure 2

Two CNT variants: (a) a SWCNT and (b) a MWCNT

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SEM images showing a SWCNT rope under direct tensile loading using AFM (from Ref. 37)

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Figure 7

Metal and semiconducting nanotubes as a function of their chiral indices

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Figure 8

Molecular dynamics predictions of the thermal conductivity of a (10,10) nanotube. The characteristic peaking behavior occurs at approximately 100 K (from Ref. 106).

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Figure 9

Ultrasound induced cavitation stages from (a) the nucleation of a void and (b) its unstable growth to (c) its implosion

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Figure 10

Schematic illustration of the calendering dispersion technique. (a) Roller positions and (b) high shear zone between the feed and center rollers.

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Figure 11

Electric-field-induced alignment showing (a) a random distribution of CNTs prior to application of an electric field, (b) polarized CNTs rotating under the electric field, (c) an aligned array of CNTs, and (d) the lateral agglomeration of the CNTs (from Ref. 152)

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Figure 20

Transition region used to couple MD and FE methods in concurrent multiscale techniques

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Figure 21

Atomistic-based continuum technique as it relates to CNT structures

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Equivalent-continuum modeling technique (from Refs. 216-217)

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Figure 23

Comparison of pristine and defected CNT structures

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Figure 12

Transmission optical micrographs of an epoxy nanocomposite containing 0.01 wt % MWCNTs during curing at 80 C in (a) a dc field of 100 V/cm and (b) an ac field of 100 V/cm (from Ref. 151)

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2D X-ray diffraction pattern of (a) an as-cast composite film containing randomly oriented MWCNTs and (b) a mechanically drawn MWCNT composite film (from Ref. 167)

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Raman spectra of a 1 wt % SWCNT melt-spun PMMA fiber (from Ref. 172)

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Helical configurations of two molecular variants of PPA: (a) cisoidal PPA and (b) transoidal PPA (from Ref. 135)

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Figure 16

Morphology of different functional groups grafted on the wall of a CNT (from Ref. 180)

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Figure 17

The use of micromechanical modeling techniques as a means of providing a bridge from atomistic to macroscopic systems

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Figure 18

(a) A representative unit cell for the analysis of wavy nanotubes and (b) the detrimental effect of nanotube waviness of the effective Young’s modulus of a nanocomposite as determined from micromechanical methods (from Ref. 194)

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Figure 19

Schematic of the sequential multiscale modeling approach

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Figure 24

Atomistic-based continuum CNT space-frame structure

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A comparison of the (a) ultimate tensile strength of epoxy-based composites containing nonfunctionalized nanotubes and (b) functionalized nanotubes and (c) the Young’s modulus of epoxy-based composites containing nonfunctionalized nanotubes and (d) functionalized nanotubes (from Ref. 226)

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Experimentally determined fracture toughness values of DWCNT epoxy composites (from Ref. 8)

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Figure 27

Measured fracture toughness values for a variety of commonly used nanofillers (from Ref. 237)

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Figure 28

Commonly observed CNT polymer composite toughening mechanisms

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Typical plot of a pull-out test on a nanotube embedded in a polymer (from Ref. 12)

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Figure 30

TEM micrograph of a MWCNT bridging a matrix crack (from Ref. 126)

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Figure 37

Influence of grafting density on the (a) interfacial thermal resistance and (b) effective thermal conductivity (from Ref. 315)

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Figure 31

SEM micrograph of a crack bridged by DWCNTs (from Ref. 126)

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Electrical conductivity of CNT-reinforced composites as a function of concentration and a schematic of the percolating network

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Figure 33

Effect of processing method on the percolation threshold of MWCNT/epoxy composites (from Ref. 271)

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Figure 34

Variation in (a) thermal conductivity and (b) electrical conductivity of a MWCNT/PS composite as a function of nanotube loading (from Ref. 297)

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Figure 35

Effect of the interfacial thermal resistance on the effective thermal conductivity of a CNT composite where Ke is the effective thermal conductivity and Km is the thermal conductivity of the matrix phase (from Ref. 311)

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Figure 36

The nanotube junction thermal resistance problem. (a) Schematic of MD and finite difference approaches and (b) the variation in the junction resistance as a function of separation distance (from Ref. 317).

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Figure 38

Change in electrical resistance and capacitance due to crack propagation in MWCNT neuron (from Ref. 340)

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Figure 40

Structural health monitoring using CNTs. (a) Electron tunneling between neighboring nanotubes, (b) reduced tunneling due to the increased separation distance, (c) no flow of electrons due to excessive separation, and (d) variation in electrical resistance due to the applied load (from Ref. 343).

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Figure 39

Comparison of fiber damage detection in composites (a) with CNTs and (b) without CNTs (from Ref. 341)



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