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Finite element modelling fracture mechanics of polymer/clay nanocomposites

I am Cecilia. In 2007 I graduated in mechanical engineering at the University of Cagliari (Sardinia, Italy).

During the degree courses I took several classes on structural mechanics, including, Mechanics of Composite Materials,

Fracture Mechanics, Finite Element Analysis (with Ansys and Abaqus).

Now I am a PHD student at the Univesity of Cagliari and this is the aim of my research:

Finite element modelling of polymer-clays nanocomposites with

particular interest in the study of the fracture at the interface clay-matrix and at the interlayer

of intercalated clays  using Abaqus cohesive elements.

Do you know someone who is studying or is interested in this topic?

What do you think about the use of the finite element analysis in order to study the fracture mechanics at the nanoscale?

Is this a limited point of view?


Xiaodong Li's picture

The following paper may help you in modeling the polymer/clay nanocomposites. One of the probelms in such nanocomposites is that clays are not well dispersed in the polyme matrix - nanoclay agglomeration. This needs to be addressed well in the modeling. The following paper may give you some experimental data for your modeling. Thanks. 

Xiaodong Li, Hongsheng Gao, Wally A. Scrivens, Dongling Fei , Michael
A. Sutton, Anthony P. Reynolds and Michael L. Myrick, "Structural and
Mechanical Characterization of Nanoclay-Reinforced Agarose
Nanocomposites," Nanotechnology, 16 (2005) 2020-2029.

Hi Xiaodong,

thank you very much for your answer. I'm going to read your article that seems to be very interesting for my research. Modelling nanoclay dispersed in a matrix is difficult also if I simplify the problem considering an exfoliated structure. It's very difficult to find experimental data that can be used with Abaqus cohesive elements.



When I model interface clay/matrix to simulate splitting or debonding I have to introduce fracture energy value and I can't use experimental data: fracture energy obtained with mechanical tests is more than decohesive energy. I found out that MD techniques can give me useful informations.

Yes, from the MD simulation you can get the traction separation law...

Did you find some useful information? I also find this topic very interesting :)

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