Modelling and characterisation of porous materials

Alsayednoor, Jafar (2013) Modelling and characterisation of porous materials. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Porous materials possessing random microstructures exist in both organic (e.g. polymer foam, bone) and in-organic (e.g. silica aerogels) forms. Foams and aerogels are two such materials with numerous engineering and scientific applications such as light-weight cores in sandwich structures, packaging, impact and crash structures, filters, catalysts and thermal and electrical insulators. As such, design and manufacture using these materials is an important task that can benefit significantly from the use of computer aided engineering tools. With the increase in computational power, multi-scale modelling is fast becoming a powerful and increasingly relevant computational technique. Ultimately, the aim is to employ this technique to decrease the time and cost of experimental mechanical characterisation and also to optimise material microstructures. Both these goals can be achieved through the use of multi-scale modelling to predict the macro-mechanical behaviour of porous materials from their microstructural morphologies, and the constituent materials from which they are made. The aim of this work is to create novel software capable of generating realistic randomly micro-structured material models, for convenient import into commercial finite element software. An important aspect is computational efficiency and all techniques are developed paying close attention to the computation time required by the final finite element simulations. Existing methods are reviewed and where required, new techniques are devised. The research extensively employs the concept of the Representative Volume Element (RVE), and a Periodic Boundary Condition (PBC) is used in conjunction with the RVEs to obtain a volume-averaged mechanical response of the bulk material from the micro-scale. Numerical methods such as Voronoi, Voronoi Laguerre and Diffusion Limited Cluster-Cluster Aggregation are all employed in generating the microstructures, and where necessary, enhanced in order to create a wide variety of realistic microstructural morphologies, including mono-disperse, polydisperse and isotropic microstructures (relevant to gas-expanded foam materials) as well as diffusion-based microstructures (relevant for aerogels). Methods of performing large strain simulations of foams microstructures, up to and beyond the onset strain of densification are developed and the dependence of mechanical response on the size of an RVE is considered. Both mechanical and morphological analysis of the RVEs is performed in order to investigate the relationship between mechanical response and internal microstructural morphology of the RVE. The majority of the investigation is limited to 2-d models though the work culminates in extending the methods to consider 3-d microstructures.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
Supervisor's Name: Harrison, Dr. Philip
Date of Award: 2013
Depositing User: Mr J ALSAYEDNOOR
Unique ID: glathesis:2013-4808
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2014 08:56
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2023 12:58
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.4808

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