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Representative volume element to estimate buckling behavior of graphene/polymer nanocomposite

Avinash Parashar and Pierre Mertiny*

Author Affiliations

University of Alberta, 4-9 Mechanical Engineering Building, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2G8, Canada

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:515  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-515

Published: 20 September 2012


The aim of the research article is to develop a representative volume element using finite elements to study the buckling stability of graphene/polymer nanocomposites. Research work exploring the full potential of graphene as filler for nanocomposites is limited in part due to the complex processes associated with the mixing of graphene in polymer. To overcome some of these issues, a multiscale modeling technique has been proposed in this numerical work. Graphene was herein modeled in the atomistic scale, whereas the polymer deformation was analyzed as a continuum. Separate representative volume element models were developed for investigating buckling in neat polymer and graphene/polymer nanocomposites. Significant improvements in buckling strength were observed under applied compressive loading when compared with the buckling stability of neat polymer.

Multiscale model; Nanocomposite; Buckling; Finite element method