Title: Micromechanical modelling of alumina trihydrate filled poly (methyl methacrylate) composites

Authors: E. Tarleton; M.N. Charalambides; C. Leppard; J.L. Yeoh

Addresses: Department of Materials, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PH, UK ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK ' AWE Plc, Aldermaston, Reading, RG7 4PR, UK ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK

Abstract: The microstructure of a binary composite consisting of stiff particles embedded in a matrix was modelled using finite element analysis. A regular square mesh was generated and an image of the microstructure was used to assign the appropriate material parameters to each integration point depending on its location relative to the original image. The same image was also used to find the particle size distribution of the filler which was used to recreate a simulated microstructure with the same volume fraction. The simulated microstructure represented the filler particles as circles with diameters ranging from 1 µm to 95 µm. The size and position of each filler particle was used to generate a model by explicitly meshing each particle boundary. The simulated microstructure reproduced the same strain values under tension as the original microstructural image, the implication being that it is possible to model a microstructure when a clear image is not available provided statistical size distribution data is available. The predicted composite modulus was compared to experimental values obtained from tensile tests available in the literature and to analytic predictions. The strain fields were compared to digital image correlation analysis of images obtained from tensile tests performed using in-situ SEM.

Keywords: binary composites; ATH; alumina trihydrate; PMMA; poly methyl methacrylate; micromechanical modelling; DIC; digital image correlation; microstructure; finite element analysis; FEA; simulation; particle size distribution; strain fields.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMSI.2013.055106

International Journal of Materials and Structural Integrity, 2013 Vol.7 No.1/2/3, pp.31 - 47

Available online: 16 Jul 2013 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article