Modulus-density negative correlation for CNT-reinforced polymer nanocomposites: Modeling and experiments

Vasileios M. Drakonakis, Matteo Aureli, Charalabos C. Doumanidis, James C. Seferis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mechanical and weight properties of polymer nanocomposites (PNCs) are measured and modeled at the interlaminar region, predicting the density and elastic modulus of individual carbon nanotubes (CNTs). A simple model of the CNTs density and elastic modulus within the PNC, accounting for fundamental material properties, geometry, and interactions, is developed, capable of predicting CNT contributions in the PNCs. Furthermore, the model is validated with experimental results that demonstrate enhancement of the elastic modulus, while reducing density in the presence of aligned CNTs. By establishing an inverse relation of density and elastic modulus (negative correlation), it is demonstrated the potential of increasing mechanical properties while reducing weight. Therefore, by introducing controlled nanoporosity through suitable CNT distributions within the interlayer of multi-lamina structures, it is possible to simultaneously control effective weight reduction and enhanced modulus, toward bio-inspired carbon fiber reinforced polymer composites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-183
Number of pages9
JournalComposites Part B: Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • A. Nano-structures
  • A. Polymer-matrix composites (PMCs)
  • B. Mechanical properties
  • B. Porosity
  • Carbon nanotubes


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