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Direct Measurements of the Mechanical Strength of Carbon Nanotube–Poly(methyl methacrylate) Interfaces

Authors

  • Xiaoming Chen,

    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, State University of New York at Binghamton, Binghamton, NY, 13902, USA
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  • Meng Zheng,

    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, State University of New York at Binghamton, Binghamton, NY, 13902, USA
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  • Cheol Park,

    1. National Institute of Aerospace, Hampton, VA 23666, USA
    2. Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA
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  • Changhong Ke

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, State University of New York at Binghamton, Binghamton, NY, 13902, USA
    • Department of Mechanical Engineering, State University of New York at Binghamton, Binghamton, NY, 13902, USA.
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Abstract

Understanding the interfacial stress transfer between carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and polymer matrices is of great importance to the development of CNT-reinforced polymer nanocomposites. In this paper, an experimental study is presented of the interfacial strength between individual double-walled CNTs and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) using an in situ nanomechanical single-tube pull-out testing scheme inside a high-resolution electron microscope. By pulling out individual tubes with different embedded lengths, this work reveals the shear lag effect on the nanotube–polymer interface and demonstrates that the effective interfacial load transfer occurs only within a certain embedded length. These results show that the CNT–PMMA interface possesses an interfacial fracture energy within 0.054–0.80 J/m2 and a maximum interfacial strength within 85–372 MPa. This work is useful to better understand the local stress transfer on nanotube–polymer interfaces.

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