In this paper, a novel carbon-based composite material, which is a hybrid structure consisting of aluminum, fullerene and graphene units, is presented. The proposed structure is basically built by a covalently bonded fullerene-graphene sandwich structure merged into an aluminum block. In order to examine the mechanical characteristics and underlying deformation mechanisms of the structure, tensile and compressive experiments of the specimens with different types of fullerenes (i.e. C-60, C-80, C-180, C-240 and C-320) are conducted at several loading rates (i.e. 0.5, 0.3, 0.1, 0.05 and 0.005 ps(-1)) by performing classical molecular dynamics simulations. According to the results, it is found that for both tensile and compressive loadings the hybrid structure becomes much more sensitive to the loading rate as the size of the fullerenes increases. Furthermore, the examination of the compressive behavior shows that increase in loading rate and decrease in fullerene size improves the compressive strength of the hybrid structure. Interestingly, it is also observed that the specimens are amorphized at higher loading rates for both tensile and compressive tests, which provide the enhancement of the strength. In addition to these, a comparison between the proposed nanostructure with C-60 fullerenes and pristine aluminum indicates an improved tensile load bearing capability at high loading rates. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.