Meso-scale modelling of composites and semi-crystalline polymers
2009 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
This thesis covers the first few steps of a multi-scale computer simulation strategy for predicting physical properties of complex polymers like composites and semi-crystalline polymers. Meso-scale simulations of crystallization and solvent diffusion in polyethylene as well as simulations examining the geometrical impact on the effective permittivity of composites have been performed. These meso-scale models will in the near future be coupled to molecular dynamics models for increased realism and accuracy.
The first paper was focused on solvent diffusion in spherulitic semi-crystalline polyethylene. Geometrical models of polyethylene spherulites were constructed and Monte-Carlo random walker simulations were used to estimate the geometrical impedance factor as function of volume crystallinity, mean free path and other geometry properties. Novel numerical off-lattice algorithms made it possible to increase the maximum volume crystallinity from 40 to 55%, to decrease the computation time a factor 100 and to use shorter and more realistic diffusion jump-lengths. The simulation results were in good agreement with experimental results and new analytical formulas were found that could be neatly fitted to both simulation data and experimental data. It was noticed that the geometrical impedance factor was proportional to the polymers mean free path length rather than its length/width aspect ratio and that the traditional Fricke formula for oblate spheroids was not able to correctly predict the diffusion behaviour in complex geometries like spherulites at medium-high volume crystal fractions.
The second paper was focused on the electrostatics of composites. Geometrical models of layered composites were first obtained and the finite element method was then used to calculate the effective composite permittivity as function of particle content, particle shape, degree of mixing and other geometrical issues. Analytical lamellae formulas for 2- and 3-phase composites were formulated with clearly better correlation to corresponding finite element data than all other previously known analytical formulas. The analytical 3-phase formula was successfully compared with experimental data for mica/polyimide and it was noted that the influence of water and air was significant.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2009. , 53 p.
Trita-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2009:54
semi-crystalline polymers, simulations, diffusion, electrostatics
Materials Engineering Computational Mathematics Polymer Chemistry
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-11296ISBN: 978-91-7415-463-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-11296DiVA: diva2:272803
Rånbyrummet, Teknikringen 56, KTH, Stockholm (Swedish)
Ågren, Hans, ProfessorGrimvall, Göran, Professor
Hedenqvist, Mikael, ProfessorGedde, Ulf, Professor
List of papers