The purpose of this thesis was to determine the acceptability of a set of existing nanocomposite test specimens for tensile testing and then to determine the Young's and shear modulus of these test specimens. If the test specimens were found to be acceptable, the accuracy of three micromechanical models was to be evaluated by comparing their predictions to the mechanical properties determined from testing the specimens. The set of existing nanocomposite test specimens had a distinct concave shape on two surfaces that were believed to be intended as flat. In order to determine if they adhered to the Type I geometry for reinforced composites as listed in the Standard Test Method for Tensile Properties of Plastics a program was written using a coordinate measuring machine to measure the cross sectional area of the test specimens. The geometry was found to meet the requirements of the standard and then the tensile testing procedure from the standard was followed. During process verification of the testing procedure, the specimens were found to behave in an unexpected way for a material that was supposed to be homogeneous and isotropic. The test specimens were found to consistently break outside of the narrow test section. An investigation into the behavior of the test specimens using dissection, impact testing, and hardness testing found that a core had formed inside the test specimens during fabrication and therefore the specimens were not homogeneous and isotropic. Since the three micromechanical models under investigation for this thesis had the assumption that the material is homogeneous and isotropic it was determined that the three micromechanical models should not be used to predict the mechanical properties of the set of test specimens.


William Peterson

Committee Member

Guanghsu Chang

Committee Member

Harry Petersen

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Automotive and Manufacturing Engineering Technology


Science, Engineering and Technology

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
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