Thermo-mechanical properties of polymer nanocomposites reinforced with randomly distributed silica nanoparticles- Micromechanical analysis

Document Type: Original Research Paper


Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Guilan, Rasht, I. R. Iran


A three-dimensional micromechanics-based analytical model is developed to study thermo-mechanical properties of polymer composites reinforced with randomly distributed silica nanoparticles. Two important factors in nanocomposites modeling using micromechanical models are nanoparticle arrangement in matrix and interphase effects. In order to study these cases, representative volume element (RVE) of nanocomposites is extended to c×r×h nano-cells in three dimensions and consists of three phases including nanoparticles, polymer matrix and interphase between the nanoparticles and matrix. Nanoparticles are surrounded by the interphase in all composites. Effects of volume fraction, aspect ratio and size of nanoparticle on the effective thermo-mechanical response of the nanocomposite are studied. Also, the effects of polymer matrix properties and interphase including its elastic modulus and thickness are theoretically investigated in detail. It is revealed that when nanoparticles are randomly distributed in the matrix and interphase effects are considered, the results of present micromechanical model are in very good agreement with experimental data.


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