Publication Date : 01/02/2018

Author(s) :

Abba A. Abubakar.

Volume/Issue :
Volume 13
Issue 1
(02 - 2018)

Abstract :

Due to widespread use of composite materials in advanced industries, studying their mechanical behaviour is one of the fast growing research areas. Due to high degree of heterogeneity common in composites, the theory underlying their mechanical behavior is still a challenging topic in the literature. Experimental measurement of their mechanical properties is also challenging. Factors such as variable composition, variable shapes and sizes of reinforcement, non-uniform dispersion, and partial decohesion of reinforcements, as well as presence of voids affect their fracture behaviour. In the present study, extended finite element method (XFEM) is used to study the fracture behaviour of Polyester/TiO2 micro-composites. Using a representative volume element (RVE) which contains sufficient number of particle reinforcements, the effect of particles size, volume fraction, and shape on the mechanical behaviour of the composite was investigated. As in previous experiment, the fracture toughness was found to increase with higher volume fraction up to a certain percent volume fraction at which the agglomeration reinforcement particles occur. Similarly, reinforcement particles of smaller sizes and standard shapes were found to result in higher fracture toughness. Based on the present study, the effective fracture toughness of the composite material is found to strongly depend on the volume fraction, shape and size of the reinforcement particles.

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