Paper number 412

MODELLING THE MECHANICAL AND THERMAL PROPERTIES OF SHORT FIBRE COMPOSITES

F.W.J. van Hattum1, C.A. Bernardo1, F.J. Macedo2, and J.A. Ferreira2

1Department of Polymer Engineering, University of Minho, 4800 Guimar„es, Portugal
2Department of Physics, University of Minho, 4710 Braga, Portugal

Summary The main difficulty in modelling the properties of short fibre composites is the complexity and wide range of the orientation states of the fibres. Furthermore, in short fibre composites, fibre length distributions exist as a result of processing, which obviously affects the composite's properties. To deal with this situation, models must be able to predict the properties for any kind of fibre orientation and length distribution, in any direction. In the present work, existing models for the prediction of stiffness and coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE), a recently developed model for the prediction of strength and a new model for the prediction of thermal conductivity are evaluated. Predictions of stiffness and strength are typically within 10% of the experimental values. The accuracy of CTE and thermal conductivity predictions is smaller, although in both cases a good description of the variation of the properties with fibre volume fraction can be obtained.
Keywords short fibre, thermomechanical, properties, micromechanics, prediction, thermoplastics.

Theme : Mechanical and Physical Properties ; Modelling

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