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Open AccessArticle

Nanoindentation of Graphene-Reinforced Silica Aerogel: A Molecular Dynamics Study

Institute of General Mechanics, RWTH Aachen University, Templergraben 64, 52062 Aachen, Germany
Academic Editors: Carlos A. García-González and Luísa Durães
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1336; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071336
Received: 26 February 2019 / Revised: 21 March 2019 / Accepted: 1 April 2019 / Published: 4 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Engineering of Aerogels and Their Applications)
In the present work, we performed nanoindentation tests using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations on graphene, native silica aerogels, and single- and multi-layered graphene-reinforced silica aerogel nanocomposites. This work mainly focused on the two aspects of nanoindentation simulations: first, the resultant indentation force–depth curves, and second, the associated mechanical deformation behavior. We found that in the single-layer graphene-reinforced silica aerogel nanocomposite, the indentation resistance was four-fold that of native silica aerogels. Moreover, the combined system proved to be higher in stiffness compared to the individual material. Furthermore, the indentation resistance was increased significantly as we proceeded from single- to two-layered graphene-reinforced silica aerogel nanocomposites. The results of the study provide a detailed understanding of the mechanical behavior during the indentation tests of nanocomposites, which helps to design advanced nanoscale multi-layered materials. View Full-Text
Keywords: silica aerogel nanocomposites; nanoindentation; molecular dynamics silica aerogel nanocomposites; nanoindentation; molecular dynamics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Patil, S.P. Nanoindentation of Graphene-Reinforced Silica Aerogel: A Molecular Dynamics Study. Molecules 2019, 24, 1336.

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