Elastic Properties of UHMWPE-SWCNT Nanocomposites’ Fiber: An Experimental, Theoretic, and Molecular Dynamics Evaluation

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Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance




Ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (PE) filaments were reinforced with 2 wt.% of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs). The solution spinning method was used to produce both neat and reinforced PE filaments. Tensile tests and strain hardening through repeated loading-unloading cycles of the filaments revealed a spectacular contribution of the SWCNTs in enhancing the elastic properties, e.g., strength and modulus. The theoretic strength and modulus of the reinforced PE were predicted using the shear lag model and micromechanics-based model, respectively, and verifying with experimental results. It was observed that the predicted strength and modulus were comparable only with those obtained after strain hardening. In the next step, a molecular dynamic simulation was conducted by simulating a unit cell containing a SWCNT surrounded by PE matrix subjected to uniaxial tensile strain. The strength and modulus of the simulated structure showed an agreement, to certain extent, with experimental observations of strain-hardened nanocomposites.