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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 392450, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/392450
Research Article

Study on Tensile Properties of Nanoreinforced Epoxy Polymer: Macroscopic Experiments and Nanoscale FEM Simulation Prediction

1Smart Structures and Advanced Composites Laboratory, College of Aerospace and Civil Engineering, Harbin Engineering University, Harbin 150001, China
2Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

Received 15 February 2013; Revised 20 April 2013; Accepted 20 April 2013

Academic Editor: Rui Huang

Copyright © 2013 Zhenqing Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The effect of nanosilica contents on mechanical properties of the epoxy matrix with some nanoparticle aggregations was studied in macroscopic experiments and nanoscale simulation, particularly with regard to the effective modulus and ultimate stress. Three analytical models were used to obtain the effective elastic modulus of nanoparticle-reinforced composites. Based on Monte-Carlo method, the special program for the automatic generation of 2D random distribution particles without overlapping was developed for nanocomposite modeling. Weight fractions of nanoparticles were converted to volume fractions, in order to coordinate the content unit in the simulation. In numerical analysis, the weak interface strengthening and toughening mechanism was adopted. Virtual crack closure technique (VCCT) and extended finite element method (XFEM) were used to simulate phenomena of nanoparticle debonding and matrix crack growth. Experimental and simulation results show a good agreement with each other. By way of simulation, the weak interface toughening and strengthening mechanism of nanocomposites is confirmed.