Effect of external loads on damage detection of rubber-toughened nanocomposites using carbon nanotubes sensory network

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Multiwalled carbon nanotubes of 0.2% weight fraction are used as a sensory network for detecting and characterizing the damage of particulate epoxy composites under shear loading conditions. Three different weight fractions of carboxyl-terminated butadiene acrylonitrile copolymer rubber [10 parts per hundred of epoxy resin (phr), 20 phr, and 30 phr] are used for toughening a thermoset epoxy composite. The electrical response of the specimens is measured, nearest the central shearing plane, using a four-circumferential ring probe technique in conjunction with a high-resolution data acquisition system. A collection of the electromechanical response results are reported with respect to the shear strain. The resistance changes observed under shear loading are related to nonlinear deformation mechanisms, void initiation, and growth around rubber particulate. With increasing rubber content, the strength of the material decreases and a greater drop in resistance is recorded as a result of decreased distance between neighboring carbon nanotubes (CNTs) due to declustering and straightening of molecular chains of host matrix. In the end, a comparison for 30 phr composites under shear loading with that of tensile and compression loading conditions is presented. For initial deformation, there is no change in resistance under shear loading condition; however, the significant resistance change can be noticed under both tension and compression. The specimen under shear loading conditions experiences smaller decrease in resistance when compared with both tension and compression. However, the decrease in resistance is higher for compression due to higher decrease in distance between neighboring CNTs. POLYM. COMPOS., 37:360-369, 2016.

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Polymer Composites