Numerical modelling of moisture diffusion in FRP with clustered microstructures
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This paper presents a numerical study of moisture propagation in fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) materials with spatial tortuosity. An algorithm for creation of microstructures with clustered fibre architecture is presented. Several controls for different characteristics of the clusters are described. Different statistical descriptors of geometry are used to quantify the clustering. A Fickian diffusion process has been modelled. The effect of clustering on moisture diffusion through the FRP is reported. It is observed that microstructures greatly affect the diffusion behaviour of the FRP. Correlation between moisture diffusion and the statistical descriptors has been examined. The statistical measures that depict the global characteristics of the microstructure are found to have a better correlation with time to saturate the representative volume element. The results should help in prediction of macroscopic response and durability of FRPs.
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