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Modeling Fiber Interactions In Semiconcentrated Fiber Suspensions

Julien Férec, G. Ausias, M. Heuzey, P. J. Carreau
Published 2009 · Physics

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A set of rheological equations is developed for semiconcentrated suspensions of rigid fibers in a Newtonian fluid taking into account hydrodynamic and fiber-fiber interactions. The force generated by the fiber interactions is modeled using a linear hydrodynamic friction coefficient proportional to the relative velocity at the contact point, and weighted by the probability for contacts to occur. The equation of evolution of the second-order orientation tensor, containing advection and diffusion terms due to fiber interactions, is derived to predict fiber orientation under flow. The well known fourth-order orientation tensor, related to the hydrodynamic contribution, and a newly proposed fourth-order interaction tensor are used to evaluate the total stress in the composite. A linear and a quadratic closure approximation are proposed to describe the fourth-order interaction tensor. Results are presented using the quadratic form, which is found to be more accurate than the linear one. The model is shown to describe well simple shear data of suspensions of glass fibers in a Newtonian polybutene. Moreover, fiber orientation and the average number of contacts per fiber are predicted. The newly proposed interaction coefficient varies with fiber orientation, which appears to be realistic.
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