Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Arturo Fuentes

Second Advisor

Dr. Karen Lozano

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert E. Jones


Functionally Graded Materials for compressive applications were designed and manufactured by tailoring the properties of Pure Polyethylene (PE) and Vapor Grown Carbon Nanofiber (VGCNF) Reinforced PE Composites. Properties of NRPC have been extensively studied. Properties are dependent on parameters such as the reinforcement/matrix interaction; reinforcement volume fraction, orientation, dispersion, and packing, and the final matrix microstructure. However, there is limited literature on their properties under compression loading. Compression strength studies for high density PE reinforced with VGCNF for different fiber volume fraction (0%, 5%, 10% and 15%) were carried out. The role of interface and alignment was studied. Samples were prepared with fibers oriented parallel (L) and perpendicular (T) to the loading conditions. It was observed that the compressive properties were very sensitive to the interface and the (T) samples were found to have better compressive properties. Based on compressive strength results, functionally graded materials were designed and manufactured for passive control of structural energy absorption. Future work and applications are discussed.


Copyright 2006 Sanjay Varma Kalidindi. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American