Studies of carbon nanotube (CNT) based composites have been unable to translate the extraordinary load-bearing capabilities of individual CNTs to macroscale composites such as yarns. A key challenge lies in the lack of understanding of how properties of filaments and interfaces across yarn hierarchical levels govern the properties of macroscale yarns. To provide insight required to enable the development of superior CNT yarns, we investigate the fabrication - structure - mechanical property relationships among CNT yarns prepared by different techniques and employ a Monte Carlo based model to predict upper bounds on their mechanical properties. We study the correlations between different levels of alignment and porosity and yarn strengths up to 2.4 GPa. The uniqueness of this experimentally informed modeling approach is the model's ability to predict when filament rupture or interface sliding dominates yarn failure based on constituent mechanical properties and structural organization observed experimentally. By capturing this transition and predicting the yarn strengths that could be obtained under ideal fabrication conditions, the model provides critical insights to guide future efforts to improve the mechanical performance of CNT yarn systems. This multifaceted study provides a new perspective on CNT yarn design that can serve as a foundation for the development of future composites that effectively exploit the superior mechanical performance of CNTs. (Chemical Equation Presented).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Materials Science
- General Engineering
- General Physics and Astronomy