Modeling and simulation of multiscale flow behavior in VARTM for processing CNT-enhanced multiscale composites

Jingjing Qiu, Chuck Zhang, Ben Wang, Richard Liang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) demonstrate extraordinary properties and show great promise for enhancing out-of-plane properties for traditional polymer/fiber composites and enabling functionality. However, current manufacturing challenges hinder realizing their potential. In this research, both experimental and computational efforts were conducted to investigate the micro/nano-flow behaviors during the manufacturing of CNT-integrated multiscale composites with vacuum-assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM), leading to the development of a novel hierarchical multiscale modeling method. Molecular dynamic (MD) simulation offered a reasonable explanation of CNT dispersion and their motion in a polymer solution. Bi-mode finite-extensible-nonlinear-elastic (FENE) dumbbell simulation was used to analyze the influence of CNT length distribution on the stress tensor and shear-rate-dependent viscosity by solving the stochastic Fokker-Planck equations. Based on the simulated viscosity profile and empirical equations from experiments, a macroscale flow simulation model on the finite element method (FEM) was developed and validated to predict resin flow behavior in the VARTM processing of CNT-enhanced multiscale composites. Optimized process design/control can be carried out based on the multiscale modeling simulation results. The proposed multiscale modeling method provides a comprehensive understanding of micro/nano flow in both atomistic details and mesoscale.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSAMPE '09 Spring Symposium Conference Proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationChanging Times. New Opportunities. Are You Prepared?
StatePublished - 2009
EventSAMPE '09 Spring Symposium Conference Proceedings - Baltimore, MD, United States
Duration: May 18 2009May 21 2009

Publication series

NameInternational SAMPE Symposium and Exhibition (Proceedings)
ISSN (Print)0891-0138


ConferenceSAMPE '09 Spring Symposium Conference Proceedings
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBaltimore, MD


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