Stochastic Analysis of Interfacial Effects on the Polymeric Nanocomposites
The polymeric clay nanocomposites are a new class of materials of which recently have become the centre of attention due to their superior mechanical and physical properties. Several studies have been performed on the mechanical characterisation of these nanocomposites; however most of those studies have neglected the effect of the interfacial region between the clays and the matrix despite of its significant influence on the mechanical performance of the nanocomposites. There are different analytical methods to calculate the overall elastic material properties of the composites. In this study we use the Mori-Tanaka method to determine the overall stiffness of the composites for simple inclusion geometries of cylinder and sphere. Furthermore, the effect of interphase layer on the overall properties of composites is calculated. Here, we intend to get ounds for the effective mechanical properties to compare with the analytical results. Hence, we use linear displacement boundary conditions (LD) and uniform traction boundary conditions (UT) accordingly. Finally, the analytical results are compared with numerical results and they are in a good agreement. The next focus of this dissertation is a computational approach with a hierarchical multiscale method on the mesoscopic level. In other words, in this study we use the stochastic analysis and computational homogenization method to analyse the effect of thickness and stiffness of the interfacial region on the overall elastic properties of the clay/epoxy nanocomposites. The results show that the increase in interphase thickness, reduces the stiffness of the clay/epoxy naocomposites and this decrease becomes significant in higher clay contents. The results of the sensitivity analysis prove that the stiffness of the interphase layer has more significant effect on the final stiffness of nanocomposites. We also validate the results with the available experimental results from the literature which show good agreement.