Experimental aspects and mechanical modeling paradigms for the prediction of degradation and failure in nanocomposite materials subjected to fatigue loading conditions
Averett, Rodney Dewayne
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The objective of the current research was to contribute to the area of mechanics of composite polymeric materials. This objective was reached by establishing a quantitative assessment of the fatigue strength and evolution of mechanical property changes during fatigue loading of nanocomposite fibers and films. Both experimental testing and mathematical modeling were used to gain a fundamental understanding of the fatigue behavior and material changes that occurred during fatigue loading. In addition, the objective of the study was to gain a qualitative and fundamental understanding of the failure mechanisms that occurred between the nanoagent and matrix in nanocomposite fibers. This objective was accomplished by examining scanning electron microscopy (SEM) fractographs. The results of this research can be used to better understand the behavior of nanocomposite materials in applications where degradation due to fatigue and instability of the composite under loading conditions may be a concern. These applications are typically encountered in automotive, aerospace, and civil engineering applications where fatigue and/or fracture are primary factors that contribute to failure.