Load transfer of graphene/carbon nanotube/polyethylene hybrid nanocomposite by molecular dynamics simulation

Yancheng Zhang, Xiaoying Zhuang, Jacob Muthu, Tarek Mabrouki, Michaël Fontaine, Yadong Gong, Timon Rabczuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)


Load transfer of the graphene/carbon nanotube (CNT)/polyethylene hybrid nanocomposite is studied here from molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Simulations of this composite material under uniaxial tension were conducted by varying CNT's position and diameter in the polymer matrix. The obtained results show that: (1) The peak strength of stress and strain evolution in the polymer matrix is lower than the peak strength of the graphene/graphene and graphene/polymer interfaces. Hence, the damage zone is always located in the polymer matrix. (2) Agglomerated two-layer graphenes do not possess an increased value in the peak strength compared with single-layer graphene-reinforced polymer nanocomposite (PNC), while two separate layers of graphene show slightly higher peak strength. (3) The largest peak strength is observed before CNT moves to the center of the polymer matrix. The damage location moves from the upper to the lower part of CNT when the CNT is located at the centre of polymer matrix. (4) The influence of the CNT diameter on the peak strength is not obvious, while the damage location and shape in the polymer matrix changes with respect to varying CNT diameters. In addition, the damage zone always falls outside the interphase zone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-33
Number of pages7
JournalComposites Part B: Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jul

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Dr. J.W. Jiang and Dr. J.H. Zhao for the helpful discussions. The authors would like to acknowledge the financial supports from the German Federation of Materials Science and Engineering (BV MatWerk), the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES)- MULTIFRAC and National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program: 2011CB013800). Prof. Y. Gong would like to thank the National Natural Science Foundation of China ( 51375082 ), and Prof. T. Rabczuk also thanks the Humboldt-foundation .


  • A. Hybrid
  • A. Polymer-matrix composites (PMCs)
  • B. Debonding
  • B. Interface/interphase
  • Molecular dynamics simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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