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Published September 15, 2006 | Published
Journal Article Open

Impact response by a foamlike forest of coiled carbon nanotubes


We studied the dynamic response of a foamlike forest of coiled carbon nanotubes under high strain rate deformation using a simple drop-ball test. The method is based on measuring the dynamic force between the ball and the foam on the substrate during the stages of penetration and restitution. The analysis of the forest's morphology after impact has shown no trace of plastic deformation and a full recovery of the foamlike layer of coiled carbon nanotubes under various impact velocities. The contact force exhibits a strongly nonlinear dependence on displacement and appears fundamentally different from the response of a forest of straight carbon nanotubes, and from the Hertzian type of plane-sphere interaction. "Brittle" fracture of the foamlike layer is observed after repeated high velocity impacts. Such layers of coiled nanotubes may be used as a strongly nonlinear spring in discrete systems for monitoring their dynamic behavior and as a nanostructure for localized microimpact protection.

Additional Information

© 2006 American Institute of Physics. Received 21 April 2006; accepted 5 July 2006; published online 22 September 2006. The authors wish to acknowledge the support for this work provided by the NSF through Grant No. DCMS03013220 (CD, VFN, SJ) and Grant No. DMI‐0304019 (AMR).

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