In this study, the mechanical properties of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) reinforced epoxy nanocomposite were measured with the custom-built micro/nano three point bending tester mounted on an atomic force microscope (AFM). With in-situ observation of the AFM, the movement of an individual MWCNT on the sample surface was traced, captured, and quantified using the image correlation technique. The Halpin-Tsai and Hui-shia models were applied and compared with the experimental data. Results showed that the elastic modulus from the experiment is much lower than the predicted values from the two models. Detailed mechanical deformation behavior and MWCNT reinforcement mechanism were discussed.

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