Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


Gregory Odegard


The objective of this research is to synthesize structural composites designed with particular areas defined with custom modulus, strength and toughness values in order to improve the overall mechanical behavior of the composite. Such composites are defined and referred to as 3D-designer composites. These composites will be formed from liquid crystalline polymers and carbon nanotubes. The fabrication process is a variation of rapid prototyping process, which is a layered, additive-manufacturing approach. Composites formed using this process can be custom designed by apt modeling methods for superior performance in advanced applications. The focus of this research is on enhancement of Young's modulus in order to make the final composite stiffer. Strength and toughness of the final composite with respect to various applications is also discussed. We have taken into consideration the mechanical properties of final composite at different fiber volume content as well as at different orientations and lengths of the fibers. The orientation of the LC monomers is supposed to be carried out using electric or magnetic fields. A computer program is modeled incorporating the Mori-Tanaka modeling scheme to generate the stiffness matrix of the final composite. The final properties are then deduced from the stiffness matrix using composite micromechanics. Eshelby's tensor, required to calculate the stiffness tensor using Mori-Tanaka method, is calculated using a numerical scheme that determines the components of the Eshelby's tensor (Gavazzi and Lagoudas 1990). The numerical integration is solved using Gaussian Quadrature scheme and is worked out using MATLAB as well. . MATLAB provides a good deal of commands and algorithms that can be used efficiently to elaborate the continuum of the formula to its extents. Graphs are plotted using different combinations of results and parameters involved in finding these results