Multi-scale numerical simulations of thermal expansion properties of CNT-reinforced nanocomposites

Alamusi, Ning Hu, Jianhui Qiu, Yuan Li, Christiana Chang, Satoshi Atobe, Hisao Fukunaga, Yaolu Liu, Huiming Ning, Liangke Wu, Jinhua Li, Weifeng Yuan, Tomonori Watanabe, Cheng Yan, Yajun Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


In this work, the thermal expansion properties of carbon nanotube (CNT)-reinforced nanocomposites with CNT content ranging from 1 to 15 wt% were evaluated using a multi-scale numerical approach, in which the effects of two parameters, i.e., temperature and CNT content, were investigated extensively. For all CNT contents, the obtained results clearly revealed that within a wide low-temperature range (30°C ~ 62°C), thermal contraction is observed, while thermal expansion occurs in a high-temperature range (62°C ~ 120°C). It was found that at any specified CNT content, the thermal expansion properties vary with temperature - as temperature increases, the thermal expansion rate increases linearly. However, at a specified temperature, the absolute value of the thermal expansion rate decreases nonlinearly as the CNT content increases. Moreover, the results provided by the present multi-scale numerical model were in good agreement with those obtained from the corresponding theoretical analyses and experimental measurements in this work, which indicates that this multi-scale numerical approach provides a powerful tool to evaluate the thermal expansion properties of any type of CNT/polymer nanocomposites and therefore promotes the understanding on the thermal behaviors of CNT/polymer nanocomposites for their applications in temperature sensors, nanoelectronics devices, etc.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalNanoscale Research Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Carbon nanotube (CNT)
  • Numerical analysis
  • Polymer-matrix composites (PMC)
  • Thermal properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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