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Active principles for nano-scale matrix additives for fibre-composite lightweight construction

(Kopie 3)

Sub-project 3: Flow behaviour of nano-particle epoxy resin suspensions 
Sub-project 4: Impregnation process for gradually nano-particle-reinforced structures

Project Leader: Prof. G. Ziegmann (Dr.Eng)

Funding period: 05/2014 – 04/2017
Funding body: DFG
Funding reference: Zi 648/42-1

Contact partner: Dr. Tatjana Artys (Dr. rer. nat) (SP 3), M.Sc. Dilmurat Abliz (SP 4)

Dispersible properties, such as primary particle and aggregate size and particle size distribution, aggregate structure, primary particle morphology and the surface functionalisation of particles play a significant role in determining the processing and technical application properties of continuous fibre-reinforced nano-composites (CFRC). However, models for the multi-scale description of this connection are limited. The fundamental question must be answered as to how the dispersed properties effect the structural formation along the process chain and the desired processing and application properties. The main parameters that determine the process-technical boundaries of nano-particle epoxy resin suspensions with fibre-reinforced nanocomposites are the flow properties of the epoxy resin suspension and its reaction kinetics. Thus, high suspension viscosities and short reaction times severely limit the production of large or complex components. Vital to the flow behaviour, and thus to the processing limits, are the procedures and mechanisms on a micro-scale, especially for solid/liquid interfaceds. In particular, the interactions betwwn particles and the surrounding liquid are of particular importance to the reaction time. These interactions on a micro-scale can be described via the coupling of CFD and DEM simulation and the use of contact models that are suitable for the respective interactions. In order to describe the rheological properties in nano-particle epoxy resin suspensions, models are established and verified in SP3, which are in line with the important and demanding multi-scale description approach The models will be functions of aggregate structure,, primary particle morphology, particle-particle interactions and reaction time. Thus, sub-project 3 is allocated to the second level of the research group - Influence of the nano-particle on the processing of the polymer.

The main tasks of SP4 lie in the design of the pre-form and the development of new sprue strategies, in order to be able to manufacture a gradient material with a defined particle distribution and, consequently,
with mechanical properties that have been adjusted in a targeted manner using a Liquid Composite Moulding procedure (LCM procedure) such as Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) or Vacuum Assisted Resin Infusion (VARI). Permeability measurements are used for experimental studies as to how an NP-filled epoxy matrix influences the impregnation of the preform during the resin infusion. The empirically calculated data is then used for the characterisation and modelling of the influence of nano particles on the flow characteristics during component production and, by means of micro-scale simulation of the flow of the NP-reinforced uncured epoxy matrix, it is represented in a roving structure. The results achieved in SP4 closely relate to the findings from SP3 and are in turn provide the partners in SP5 und 6 with a basis by which to verify influencing factors of nano particles on the fibre plastic composite by means of suitable test methods, and to develop necessary production concepts. In conjunction with SP1, the influence of the nano particles on the flow characteristics or particle movement during impregnation is to be shown using analytical methods.

Figure 1 Overview of the multi-scale simulation of the rheological properties in Sub-project SP 3

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