The present work addresses with the cross-sectional design and analysis of fiber-reinforced multiscale composite beams of general cross-sectional shape and arbitrary anisotropic material properties and investigates the effect of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on their stiffness properties. The three-dimensional strain field was formulated in terms of one-dimensional strains and a three-dimensional warping displacement. The bulk material properties of the multiscale composite were predicted using Halpin–Tsai equations and fiber micromechanics. The carbon nanotubes were assumed to be uniformly distributed and randomly oriented throughout the polymer matrix. The variational asymptotic beam section (VABS) was used to numerically evaluate the stiffness and mass matrices of four test cases: strip, circular pipe, box beam and airfoil. The influence of CNTs weight percentage and volume fraction of fibers was investigated through a detailed parametric study. The numerical results indicate that the inclusion of a small weight percentage of carbon nanotubes in the polymer matrix is sufficient to induce a significant improvement in stiffness properties.

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Keywords airfoil section, Carbon nanotubes, cross-section design, fiber-reinforced nanocomposite, multiscale composites, VABS
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Journal International Journal of Applied Mechanics
Rafiee, M. (M.), Nitzsche, F, & Labrosse, M.R. (M. R.). (2018). Cross-Sectional Design and Analysis of Multiscale Carbon Nanotubes-Reinforced Composite Beams and Blades. International Journal of Applied Mechanics. doi:10.1142/S1758825118500321