Critical evaluation of the stiffening effect of carbon nanotubes in composites

Dong Li Shi*, Xi Qiao Feng, Yonggang Y. Huang, Keh Chih Hwang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) seem to hold a great promise as an ideal reinforcing material for composites of high-strength and low-density. In most experimental results to date, however, only modest improvements in the strength and stiffness have been achieved by incorporating CNTs in polymers. There are many factors that influence the mechanical properties of CNT-reinforced composites, e.g. the weak bonding between CNTs and matrix, the waviness and agglomeration of CNTs. In this paper, the effects of these factors on the stiffness of CNT-reinforced composites are examined. It is found that the waviness and agglomeration may significantly reduce the stiffening effect of CNTs, while the interface adhesion between the matrix and CNTs has little influence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1487-1492
Number of pages6
JournalKey Engineering Materials
Issue numberII
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004
EventAdvances in Fracture and Failure Prevention: Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Fracture and Strength of Solids (FEOFS2003): Second International Conference on Physics and Chemistry of Fracture and Failure Prevention (2nd ICPCF) - Sendai, Japan
Duration: Oct 20 2003Oct 22 2003


  • Carbon nanotube
  • Effective modulus
  • Interface
  • Microstructure
  • Mori-Tanaka method
  • Nanocomposites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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