Mechanical behavior of ultralong multiwalled carbon nanotube mats

  • Deck C
  • Flowers J
  • McKee G
 et al. 
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Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been a subject of great interest partially due to their potential for exceptional material properties. Improvements in synthesis methods have facilitated the production of ultralong CNT mats, with lengths in the millimeter range. The increased length of these ultralong mats has, in return, opened the way to greater flexibility to probe their mechanical response. In this work, mats of dense, well-aligned, multiwalled carbon nanotubes were grown with a vapor-phase chemical vapor deposition technique using ferrocene and benzene as reactants, and subsequently tested in both tension and compression using two methods, in a thermomechanical analyzer and in situ inside a scanning electron microscope. In compression, measured stiffness was very low, due to buckling of the nanotubes. In tension, the nanotube mats behaved considerably stiffer; however, they were still more compliant than expected for nanotubes (~1 TPa). Analysis of both the growth method used and the nanotube mat fracture surface suggests that the mats grown in this method are not composed of continuous nanotubes and their strengths actually closely match those of woven nanotube yarns and ropes

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  • Christian P. Deck

  • Jason Flowers

  • Gregg S B McKee

  • Kenneth Vecchio

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