Computational modelling of glass fiber-reinforced polymers with processing-induced filler orientation in long term performance

Failure under static or dynamic loading conditions is a major concern in the application of polymers in load-bearing components: it is not the question whether it will fail, but rather on what time scale.  It is therefore imperative to be able to estimate the lifespan of load-bearing components under design-load specifications. Additional complexity is, as a result of the processing-induced filler orientation, that the components generally display spatial variation of mechanical properties throughout a product. The development of a methodology that predicts and designs the long-term performance of reinforced polymers is therefore of the utmost importance.

This project aims at the development of a macroscopic constitutive model that is capable to describe anisotropic time-dependent failure phenomena in fiber-filled systems. The development will be based on an extensive experimental study on the anisotropy of time-to-failure in static and dynamic fatigue of oriented short-fiber composites. A (generic) protocol that links local fiber orientation to anisotropic mechanical properties will be developed. The method will involve numerical analysis on realistic microstructural models based on CT-imaging of short-fiber reinforced polymers.

Research type: numerical simulation