Impact-resistant carbon nanotube woven films: a molecular dynamics study†
Fiber-based fabrics have great potential in impacting protection. Here, we propose a novel nanostructure, wherein single-walled CNTs (SWCNTs) were employed to weave plain 2D films. The in-plane mechanical properties and impacting properties of SWCNT woven films (SWFs) were investigated via fully atomic molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. It was found that their fracture strength and Young's modulus present obvious anisotropy, depending on the loading direction. When the loading is along the CNT axis, the mechanical performances are the best. From the impacting test, we found that this SWF synchronously possesses high impacting strength and a percentage of absorbed energy. This is mainly a result of high intrinsic strength, excellent flexibility and radial deformation capability of CNTs. In addition, it was observed that the high-speed impact of projectile can lead to the intricate entanglements of CNTs, which also could dissipate some energy by friction between the CNTs. This study provides an in-depth understanding on the mechanical properties of SWFs and broadens the applications of CNT-based nanomaterials.