On the 17th of March, Tanguy Laurencin will defend his PhD entitled "3D rheology of non newtonian fibre suspensions using X-ray tomography and finite element simulation at the fibre scale".
This PhD project started in 2014 was supervised by Laurent Orgéas at the 3SR in collaboration with Pierre Dumont from the LGP2.
The defense will take place at 10 am in room K118 at the LEGI.
This study focuses on the processing of short fibre-reinforced polymer composites. The physical and mechanical properties of these materials are mainly affected by the position and orientation distribution of fibres induced during their forming. Thus, we analysed the flow-induced micro-mechanisms that arose at the fibre scale during the forming stage of these complex systems which behave as non-Newtonian fibre suspensions. For that purpose, an original approach was developed by combining 3D imaging technique and direct numerical simulation, both performed at the fibre scale. Hence, several model fibre suspensions with a non-Newtonian suspending fluid and with a concentration regime that ranged from dilute to concentrated were prepared . They were subjected to confined lubricated compression loadings using a rheometer mounted on a synchrotron X-ray microtomograph. Thanks to very short scanning times, 3D images of the evolving fibrous microstructures at high spatial resolution were recorded in real-time. These experiments were also simulated using a dedicated Finite Element library enabling an accurate description of fibre kinematics in complex suspending fluids thanks to high performance computation, level sets and adaptive anisotropic meshing. The efficiency of the numerical simulation from the dilute to semi-dilute concentration regimes was assessed through experimental and numerical comparisons.Then, we showed that the confinement effect and the non-Newtonian rheology of the suspending fluid had a weak effect on the fibre kinematics, if the fibres were sufficiently far from the compression platens, typically the fibre-platen distance should be larger than twice the fibre diameter. Otherwise, confinement effects occurred. Some extensions of the dumbbell model were proposed to correct the fibre kinematics in this flow conditions. In semi-dilute concentration, deviations of the fibre kinematics compared to the Jeffery’s predictions were also observed and related to hydrodynamic interactions between fibres. In this case, the predictions of Jeffery’s model and the related assumption of affine fibre motions are less relevant. In the concentrated regime, even if the overall orientation of fibre suspension could be astonishingly well described by using the Jeffery’s model, strong fluctuations on each fibre motion and rotation were observed. These deviations were induced by the numerous fibre-fibre contacts, which could be correctly predicted by the tube model.