Mechanical energy absorption characteristics of hollow and water-filled carbon nanotubes upon low-speed crushing

Jun XU, Baoxing XU, Yueting SUN, Yibing LI, Xi CHEN*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

5 Citations (Scopus)


Using molecular dynamics simulations, the prospects are explored of using bundles, forests, and single carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for absorbing mechanical energies upon crushing. In particular, the deformation and energy absorption characteristics are compared between hollow and water-filled CNTs. It is shown that the buckling properties of hollow CNTs strongly depend on their geometrical parameters, whereas the critical buckling load and postbuckling stress can be significantly elevated with a filament of water, leading to pronounced energy absorption densities. Additional enhancements result from CNT bundles and forests. The present study may provide some insight into the potential application of employing CNTs as advanced energy absorption materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-70
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nanomechanics and Micromechanics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

The work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundationof China (11172231 and 11102099), DARPA (W91CRB-11-C-0112), National Science Foundation (CMMI-0643726), ChinesePost-doctor Foundation, Tsinghua University Research Project(20121080050), individual-research founding State Key Laboratoryof Automotive Safety and Energy, Tsinghua University (ZZ2011-112), Changjiang Scholar Program from Ministry of Education ofChina, and World Class University program through the NationalResearch Foundation of Korea (R32-2008-000-20042-0).


  • Carbon nanotube
  • Energy absorption
  • Low-speed impact


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