Atomistic aspects of load transfer and fracture in CNT-reinforced aluminium

Nasiri S, Wang K, Yang M, Guénolé J, Li Q, Zaiser M (2022)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2022


Book Volume: 22

Article Number: 101376

DOI: 10.1016/j.mtla.2022.101376


This paper describes atomistic simulations of deformation and fracture of Al reinforced with carbon nanotubes (CNTs). We use density functional theory (DFT) to understand the energetics of Al-graphene interfaces and gain reference data for the parameterization of Al-C empirical potentials. We then investigate the load transfer between CNTs and Al and its effect on composite strengthening. To this end, we perform uniaxial tensile simulations of an Al crystal reinforced by CNTs of various volume fractions. We also study the interaction of the embedded CNTs with a crack. We show that the interaction between CNTs and Al is weak such that, under tensile loading, CNTs can easily slide inside the Al matrix and get pulled out from the cracked surface. This effect is almost independent of CNT length and volume fraction. Little load transfer and consequently no crack bridging are observed during the simulation of pristine CNTs threading the crack surfaces. CNTs that are geometrically fixated inside Al, on the other hand, can increase the fracture stress and enhance plastic dissipation in the matrix. CNTs located in front of a growing crack pin the crack and induce plastic deformation of the Al matrix. Depending on the CNT orientation, these processes can either increase or decrease the failure stress of the composite.

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Nasiri, S., Wang, K., Yang, M., Guénolé, J., Li, Q., & Zaiser, M. (2022). Atomistic aspects of load transfer and fracture in CNT-reinforced aluminium. Materialia, 22.


Nasiri, Samaneh, et al. "Atomistic aspects of load transfer and fracture in CNT-reinforced aluminium." Materialia 22 (2022).

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