Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Engineering Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

P. Raju Mantena

Second Advisor

Ahmed Al-Ostaz

Third Advisor

Tyrus McCarty

Relational Format



The dynamic response of exfoliated graphite nanoplatelet (xGnP) reinforced and carboxyl terminated butadiene nitrile (CTBN) toughened vinyl ester based nanocomposites are characterized under both dynamic tensile and compressive loading. Dynamic direct tensile tests are performed applying the reverse impact Split Hopkinson Pressure Bar (SHPB) technique. The specimen geometry for tensile test is parametrically optimized by Finite Element Analysis (FEA) using ANSYS Mechanical APDL®. Uniform stress distribution within the specimen gage length has been verified using high-speed digital photography. The on-specimen strain gage installation is substituted by a non-contact Laser Occlusion Expansion Gage (LOEG) technique for infinitesimal dynamic tensile strain measurements. Due to very low transmitted pulse signal, an alternative approach based on incident pulse is applied for obtaining the stress-time history. Indirect tensile tests are also performed combining the conventional SHPB technique with Brazilian disk test method for evaluating cylindrical disk specimens. The cylindrical disk specimen is held snugly in between two concave end fixtures attached to the incident and transmission bars. Indirect tensile stress is estimated from the SHPB pulses, and diametrical transverse tensile strain is measured using LOEG. Failure diagnosis using high-speed digital photography validates the viability of utilizing this indirect test method for characterizing the tensile properties of the candidate vinyl ester based nanocomposite system. Also, quasi-static indirect tensile response agrees with previous investigations conducted using the traditional dog-bone specimen in quasi-static direct tensile tests. Investigation of both quasi-static and dynamic indirect tensile test responses show the strain rate effect on the tensile strength and energy absorbing capacity of the candidate materials. Finally, the conventional compressive SHPB tests are performed. It is observed that both strength and energy absorbing capacity of these candidate material systems are distinctively less under dynamic tension than under compressive loading. Nano-reinforcement appears to marginally improve these properties for pure vinyl ester under dynamic tension, although it is found to be detrimental under dynamic compression.


Emphasis: Mechanical Engineering

Included in

Engineering Commons



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