Computational analysis of particle reinforced viscoelastic polymer nanocomposites – statistical study of representative volume element

Anqi Hu, Xiaolin Li, Amin Ajdari, Bing Jiang, Craig Burkhart, Wei Chen, L. Catherine Brinson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

The concept of representative volume element (RVE) is widely used to determine the effective material properties of random heterogeneous materials. In the present work, the RVE is investigated for the viscoelastic response of particle-reinforced polymer nanocomposites in the frequency domain. The smallest RVE size and the minimum number of realizations at a given volume size for both structural and mechanical properties are determined for a given precision using the concept of margin of error. It is concluded that using the mean of many realizations of a small RVE instead of a single large RVE can retain the desired precision of a result with much lower computational cost (up to three orders of magnitude reduced computation time) for the property of interest. Both the smallest RVE size and the minimum number of realizations for a microstructure with higher volume fraction (VF) are larger compared to those of one with lower VF at the same desired precision. Similarly, a clustered structure is shown to require a larger minimum RVE size as well as a larger number of realizations at a given volume size compared to the well-dispersed microstructures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-74
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Volume114
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2018

Keywords

  • Polymer nanocomposites
  • Representative volume elements
  • Viscoelasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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