Publication date: 15 October 2017
Source:Materials & Design, Volume 132
Author(s): Helong Wu, Sritawat Kitipornchai, Jie Yang
This paper deals with the thermal buckling and postbuckling of functionally graded multilayer nanocomposite plates reinforced with a low content of graphene platelets (GPLs). It is assumed that GPL reinforcements are randomly oriented and uniformly dispersed in each individual GPL-reinforced composite (GPLRC) layer but the concentration follows a layer-wise variation across the plate thickness. The modified Halpin-Tsai micromechanics model that takes into account the GPL geometry effect is adopted to estimate the effective Young’s modulus of GPLRC layers. Within the framework of the first-order shear deformation theory, the nonlinear governing equations are derived by applying the principle of virtual displacements and then solved by using a differential quadrature-based iteration technique. Parametric studies are conducted to examine the influences of GPL distribution pattern, concentration and geometry, as well as in-plane force on the thermal buckling and postbuckling behaviours. Our results show that distributing more GPLs near the surface layers is capable of reinforcing the thermal buckling and postbuckling performances of GPLRC plates. Whether the thermal buckling and postbuckling resistance increases or decreases with the increases in GPL weight fraction, aspect ratio and width-to-thickness ratio is highly dependent on the GPL distribution pattern.