A micromechanics model for the prediction of elastic properties of reinforced polymers taking into account the agglomeration of fillers is developed. The influence of the shape of fillers on the results is discussed on the basis of a model developed earlier (Tandon and Weng in Compos. Sci. Technol. 27:111–132, 1986). The analysis is extended further for the consideration of possible agglomeration of fillers, and a micro-structure parameter $$\eta $$ η is accordingly introduced for its characterization. The values of the $$\eta $$ η -parameter are in the interval from zero to unity; higher value of $$\eta $$ η implies a greater degree of agglomeration of fillers. The applications of the model to some polymers reinforced with single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are discussed; theoretical predictions are compared with experimental and numerical results available in the literature. It is concluded that the $$\eta $$ η -parameter increases with the volume fraction of fillers in current fabrication processes, and the agglomeration of fillers renders the reduction of the stiffness-enhancement capability of SWNTs.
Acta Mechanica – Springer Journals
Published: May 13, 2017
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