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Small But Strong: A Review Of The Mechanical Properties Of Carbon Nanotube–polymer Composites

J. Coleman, U. Khan, W. Blau, Y. Gun’ko
Published 2006 · Materials Science

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Abstract The superlative mechanical properties of carbon nanotubes make them the filler material of choice for composite reinforcement. In this paper we review the progress to date in the field of mechanical reinforcement of polymers using nanotubes. Initially, the basics of fibre reinforced composites are introduced and the prerequisites for successful reinforcement discussed. The effectiveness of different processing methods is compared and the state of the art demonstrated. In addition we discuss the levels of reinforcement that have actually been achieved. While the focus will be on enhancement of Young’s modulus we will also discuss enhancement of strength and toughness. Finally we compare and tabulate these results. This leads to a discussion of the most promising processing methods for mechanical reinforcement and the outlook for the future.
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