Simulating Fiber Ordering and Aggregation In Shear Flow Using Dissipative Particle Dynamics
We have developed a mesoscale simulation of fiber aggregation in shear flow using LAMMPS and its implementation of dissipative particle dynamics. Understanding fiber aggregation in shear flow and flow-induced microstructural fiber networks is critical to our interest in high-performance composite materials. Dissipative particle dynamics enables the consideration of hydrodynamic interactions between fibers through the coarse-grained simulation of the matrix fluid. Correctly simulating hydrodynamic interactions and accounting for fluid forces on the microstructure is required to correctly model the shear-induced aggregation process. We are able to determine stresses, viscosity, and fiber forces while simulating the evolution of a model fiber system undergoing shear flow. Fiber-fiber contact interactions are approximated by combinations of common pairwise forces, allowing the exploration of interaction-influenced fiber behaviors such as aggregation and bundling. We are then able to quantify aggregate structure and effective volume fraction for a range of relevant system and fiber-fiber interaction parameters. Our simulations have demonstrated several aggregate types dependent on system parameters such as shear rate, short-range attractive forces, and a resistance to relative rotation while in contact. A resistance to relative rotation at fiber-fiber contact points has been found to strongly contribute to an increased angle between neighboring aggregated fibers and therefore an increase in average aggregate volume fraction. This increase in aggregate volume fraction is strongly correlated with a significant enhancement of system viscosity, leading us to hypothesize that controlling the resistance to relative rotation during manufacturing processes is important when optimizing for desired composite material characteristics.
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