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Proceedings 2018, 2(8), 427;

A Novel Strategy to Achieve Enhanced Reinforcement and Decreased Damping in CNT-Nanocomposites

Engineering Department, University of Rome, Roma Tre, 00146 Rome, Italy
Structural and Geotechnical Engineering Department, Sapienza University of Rome, 00184 Rome, Italy
Presented at the 18th International Conference on Experimental Mechanics (ICEM18), Brussels, Belgium, 1–5 July 2018.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Published: 5 June 2018
PDF [248 KB, uploaded 21 August 2018]


In recent decades, polymer-carbon nanotube (CNTs) composite materials have drawn much attention for their potential applications as nanofiller in unique lightweight materials with superior mechanical properties. For structural engineering applications, high strength and stiffness can be delivered and conveniently tuned in nanocomposites by ensuring and effective load-transfer at the CNT/polymer interfaces. To achieve such an improvement, conventional approaches are based on complex chemical functionalization processes. In this work, the mechanical properties of nickel-coated carbon nanotube (Ni-CNT) reinforced polyamic acid-nanocomposites (Ni-CNTs /PAA) are presented and compared to those of pristine CNT nanocomposites (CNTs/PAA) in terms of stiffness, strength and damping capacity. The Ni nanoparticles decorating the CNTs outer walls induce an interlocking mechanism at the CNTs/matrix interface. A significant increase in the elastic modulus is thus observed for this kind of materials. On the other hand, the Ni-CNTs/PAA nanocomposite, decreases its damping capacity when compared with pristine CNTs/PAA nanocomposite. It is worth noting that the two investigated nanocomposites were conceived with the same total weight fraction of nanofiller, by assuming as nanofiller the pristine CNTs and the Ni-coated CNTs, respectively. The recorded stiffness enhancement and damping reduction are reached despite the significantly smaller amount of CNTs contained in the Ni-coated CNT nanocomposite samples. Indeed, for these nanocomposites, Ni nanoparticles, with their higher mass density, represent the 60 wt% of the total nanofiller weight. The results proved the concept that when metal nanoparticles coat the CNTs outer walls, better CNTs/matrix adhesion can be achieved without the need to undergo complex CNTs functionalization procedures. This is an advantage since chemical functionalization typically shows the drawback of damaging the CNTs, by introducing defects on their outer walls.
Keywords: carbon nanotube; nanocomposites; metal nanoparticles CNT coating; interlocking; strength carbon nanotube; nanocomposites; metal nanoparticles CNT coating; interlocking; strength
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Karimzadeh, M.; Talò, M.; Lacarbonara, W.; Lanzara, G. A Novel Strategy to Achieve Enhanced Reinforcement and Decreased Damping in CNT-Nanocomposites. Proceedings 2018, 2, 427.

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