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Prediction of the stiffness of nanoclay-polypropylene composites using a monte carlo finite element analysis approach

Venkatesh, GS and Karmarkar, A and Shivakumar, ND and Deb, A (2012) Prediction of the stiffness of nanoclay-polypropylene composites using a monte carlo finite element analysis approach. In: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Engineering under Uncertainty: Safety Assessment and Management (ISEUSAM - 2012), January 4-6 2012, Howrah, India.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-81-322-0757-3_84

Abstract

The present work deals with the prediction of stiffness of an Indian nanoclay-reinforced polypropylene composite (that can be termed as a nanocomposite) using a Monte Carlo finite element analysis (FEA) technique. Nanocomposite samples are at first prepared in the laboratory using a torque rheometer for achieving desirable dispersion of nanoclay during master batch preparation followed up with extrusion for the fabrication of tensile test dog-bone specimens. It has been observed through SEM (scanning electron microscopy) images of the prepared nanocomposite containing a given percentage (3–9% by weight) of the considered nanoclay that nanoclay platelets tend to remain in clusters. By ascertaining the average size of these nanoclay clusters from the images mentioned, a planar finite element model is created in which nanoclay groups and polymer matrix are modeled as separate entities assuming a given homogeneous distribution of the nanoclay clusters. Using a Monte Carlo simulation procedure, the distribution of nanoclay is varied randomly in an automated manner in a commercial FEA code, and virtual tensile tests are performed for computing the linear stiffness for each case. Values of computed stiffness modulus of highest frequency for nanocomposites with different nanoclay contents correspond well with the experimentally obtained measures of stiffness establishing the effectiveness of the present approach for further applications.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Springer India.
Keywords: Polypropylene; Nanoclay; Nanocomposite; Stiffness; Monte Carlo Simulation Randomness
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Product Design & Manufacturing
Depositing User: Francis Jayakanth
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2014 05:56
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2014 05:56
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/48609

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