Composite materials are artificially engineered materials composed of a matrix and filler with
reinforcing agents embedded in the matrix to enhance various properties. These days, as the demand for lightweight and high performance composite materials is increasing, especially in the field of transportation, many efforts are focused on research activity in the area of carbon nanotube (CNT) composite materials. In this review paper, the first discovery of the CNT is considered and the various properties of CNTs, such as mechanical (stiffness, tensile strength, damping), electrical and thermal properties, are briefly explained. For the evaluation of the recent lightweight and high performance CNT composites research trends, papers published within the last 10 years are selected. The role of the strengthener CNTs (SWCNTs and MWCNTs) and several different polymers (epoxy resin, polypropylene and polystyrene) for the matrix materials are considered in the evaluation. It is found that many research activities for the modification of the CNT surface focus on the uniform distribution of the CNTs in the matrix. Research work for the improvement of the binding energy between CNTs and polymers is also emphasized to optimize the mechanical behaviors.
functionally graded materials; extrusion; fracture; mechanical properties; SEM