Elastic properties of carbon nanotubes in the radial direction

Guoxin CAO, Yuye TANG, Xi CHEN*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


A systematic numerical and theoretical analysis is carried out to study the radial elastic properties of single-walled, double-walled, and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs). The molecular dynamics simulations are used to study CNTs under radial pressure, and the deformation mechanisms of CNTs are explored by analysing the relationship between radial strain and strain energy. A parallel continuum model based on plane strain theory is verified by molecular dynamics (MD) simulation results in single-walled and double-walled CNTs, and extended into multi-walled CNTs that are computationally expensive for MD simulation. Good agreement is found between MD simulation results and continuum studies. The effective radial elastic moduli of CNTs are presented as a function of tube radii and the number of CNT layers. The results of this paper may be useful when analysing the mechanical integrity of CNT nanocomposites and nanofluidic components.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-88
Number of pages16
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part N: Journal of Nanoengineering and Nanosystems
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • carbon nanotube
  • elastic property
  • molecular dynamics


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