Question
Thu June 14, 2012 By:

Give detailed note on strength of carbon nanotubes.

Expert Reply
Thu June 14, 2012
Carbon nanotubes are the strongest and stiffest materials yet discovered in terms of tensile strength and elastic modulus respectively. This strength results from the covalent sp2bonds formed between the individual carbon atoms. In 2000, a multi-walled carbon nanotube was tested to have a tensile strength of 63 gigapascals (GPa). (For illustration, this translates into the ability to endure tension of a weight equivalent to 6422 kg on a cable with cross-section of 1 mm2.) Further studies, conducted in 2008, revealed that individual CNT shells have strengths of up to ~100 GPa, which is in good agreement with quantum/atomistic models. Since carbon nanotubes have a low density for a solid of 1.3 to 1.4 g/cm3, its specific strength of up to 48,000 kN·m·kg?1 is the best of known materials, compared to high-carbon steel's 154 kN·m·kg?1
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