Stress dependence of indentation modulus for carbon fiber in polymer composite
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Elastic modulus measured through atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based indentation on single carbon fiber (CF) is found with dependence on lateral applied stress. An in situ indentation experiment inside a high-resolution transmission electron microscope was per- formed to quantitatively understand this phenomenon by observing microstructure change in the indented area. Change of graphitic basal plane misalignment angle during indentation was linked to a continuous change of modulus with the help of finite element simulation. The established relationship between modulus and indentation force was further used to calcu- late residual stress distribution in CF imbedded in a CF reinforced polymer composite using the AFM indentation technique. The stress-induced formation of nanoscale defects in the CF and their transformation into fracture were directly characterized.
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