Introducing a filler into a polymeric matrix results in the production of a composite material with superior strength. However, predicting the properties of the product is difficult, since they depend on a great number of parameters. Attempts to predict such features may only lead to a rough estimation of the influence of fillers on the overall behavior of the composite. For example, a linear increase of the strength of the composite is observed as the filler-volume fraction increases. However, the reinforcing action of the filler is limited by the nature, shape and grade of the filler, and, on the other hand, by the adhesion efficiency between the two phases and the mechanism of failure of the composite system. Also, another important factor affecting the strength properties is the interaction between individual filler particles. This last parameter is difficult to predict in a real composite. Figure I illustrates the interaction between an idealized array of parallel fibers embedded in a softer matrix, which resulted from shrinkage stresses developed during casting. A transverse section of this composite is shown. The isochromatics in this figure yield the difference of principal stresses due to shrinkage of the matrix 1, 2).
KeywordsRepresentative Volume Element Composite System Parallel Fiber Thermomechanical Behavior Soft Matrix
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