An Encapsulated Inclusion Model for Interface and Probabilistic Analysis of Nanocomposites
The effect of the interface between the carbon nanofibers (CNF) or carbon nanotubes (CNT) and the matrix on the properties of a nanocomposite is significant. Therefore, it is important to develop a model that accounts for the effect of the interface on the overall elastic modulus of a nanocomposite. A methodology for predicting the modulus of a nanocomposite is developed in this paper. This methodology uses a conceptual model called inclusion that consists of the nanofiber/nanotube inserted in a hollow cylinder representing the interface. The inclusion is embedded into the matrix. The flexibility of the hollow cylinder represents the effect of the interface. Inputs to this model are the moduli of the CNT/CNF, the matrix and the material representing the interface, as well as the volume fractions of these materials. These properties can be estimated from experiments or from molecular dynamics models.