Compressive instability of carbon nanotubes

Ning Hu, Kazuhiko Nunoya, Hisao Fukunaga

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Based on both molecular mechanics and computational structural mechanics, a three-dimensional (3D) equivalent beam element is developed to model a C-C covalent bond on carbon nanotubes (CNTs) whereas the van der Waals forces between atoms in the different walls of multi-walled CNTs are described using a rod element. The buckling characteristics of CNTs are conveniently analyzed by using the traditional finite element method (FEM) of a 3D beam and rod model, termed as molecular structural mechanics approach (MSMA). Moreover, to model the CNTs with large length or large diameter, the validity of Euler's beam buckling theory and a shell model with proper properties defined from the results of MSMA is investigated. The predicted results by this simple continuum mechanics approach agree well with the reported experimental data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2187-2190
Number of pages4
JournalKey Engineering Materials
Issue numberPART 3
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jan 1
EventAsian Pacific Conference for Fracture and Strength (APCFS'06) - Sanya, Hainan Island, China
Duration: 2006 Nov 222006 Nov 25


  • Carbon nanotube
  • Compressive instability
  • Finite element method
  • Molecular mechanics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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