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Analysis of uniaxial compression of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes

Hutchens, Shelby B. and Needleman, Alan and Greer, Julia R. (2011) Analysis of uniaxial compression of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 59 (10). pp. 2227-2237. ISSN 0022-5096.

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We carry out axisymmetric, finite deformation finite element analyses of the uniaxial compression of cylindrical bundles of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (VACNTs) firmly attached to a Si substrate. A compressible elastic–viscoplastic constitutive relation with a piecewise, linear hardening–softening–hardening flow strength is used to model the material. Calculations are performed for VACNTs both with uniform properties and with axially graded properties. We show that, with uniform properties, sequential buckling initiates at the substrate and propagates away from it, in agreement with previous experimental findings. We investigate the dependence of the magnitude and wavelength of the buckles on characteristics of the function defining the flow strength. When a property gradient giving a more compliant response at the end opposite to the substrate is specified, we find that sequential buckling initiates at that end and propagates toward the substrate. Results of the analyses are compared with the experimental observations and capture many of the experimentally obtained stress–strain and morphological features. The proposed model serves as a promising foundation for capturing the underlying energy absorption mechanisms in these systems. Comparison of the model predictions with the experimental results also suggests directions for model improvement.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Greer, Julia R.0000-0002-9675-1508
Additional Information:© 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Received 12 March 2011; revised 21 April 2011; Accepted 1 May 2011. Available online 6 May 2011. The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Army Research Office through the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies (ICB) at Caltech (ARO Award# UCSB. ICB4b) and the infrastructure provided by the Kavli Nanoscience Institute (KNI) at Caltech. We also thank Dr. Lee J. Hall of JPL for the VACNT pillar samples from which the experimental data presented here was gathered.
Group:Kavli Nanoscience Institute
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Army Research Office (ARO)UCSB.ICB4b
Subject Keywords:Carbon nanotubes; Buckling; Irrecoverable deformation; Microstructures; Finite elements
Issue or Number:10
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20111025-072156444
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Shelby B. Hutchens, Alan Needleman, Julia R. Greer, Analysis of uniaxial compression of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes, Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, Volume 59, Issue 10, October 2011, Pages 2227-2237, ISSN 0022-5096, 10.1016/j.jmps.2011.05.002. (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:27391
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:25 Oct 2011 14:48
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 03:23

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