Date of Award

Winter 2006

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Director

Ram Prabhakaren

Committee Director

Emilie J. Siochi

Committee Member

Stephen Cupschalk


Carbon nanotubes are considered to be a revolutionary material breakthrough due to their unique combination of properties. While many applications for SWCNTs have been projected, realization of these potential uses have been hampered by the high cost of limited supplies of high quality SWCNTs and the difficulty in the development of a suitable processing method that does not damage the filler thus diminishing the desirable properties of this material. In spite of these technical challenges, their potential to enable the fabrication of multifunctional materials is being investigated in earnest. The goal of this thesis is to investigate the feasibility of obtaining useful nanocomposite materials with enhanced mechanical properties through melt extrusion of fibers containing a polymer binder reinforced with carbon nanotubes. The targeted property enhancement will be improved interfacing between the binder polymer and carbon nanotubes because intimate contact between the nanofiller and the matrix are necessary to take advantage of the high conductivity and mechanical strength possessed by CNTs. Advances made in processing of structural nanocomposites and assessments of their properties will be discussed.


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