Multiscale modeling of polymer composites

Andrea Browning, Director

Polymer matrix composite materials are critical materials for structural applications especially in the aerospace and automotive industries. The combination of corrosion resistance and directional properties of high modulus fibers create composite materials have grown in use over recent decades. As the use of polymer matrix composites has grown so too has the need to understand and predict their behavior. To that end, advances in multiscale modeling have been made and must continue to be made. In this talk, individual simulations at the quantum and atomistic level will be discussed as well as connection between the two. In addition the nanolevel simulation of the carbon fiber/polymer interface will be discussed. These simulations illustrate how the system of polymer/interface/inorganic behave under various load conditions and how chemical structural phenomena such as free volume impact the behavior. Finally, how the use environment of elevated temperature and exposure to fluids such as water impact these properties will be discussed.