The method of movable cellular automata (MCA) was applied to simulate the stress-strain behaviour of a nanocomposite consisting of an epoxy matrix and 5 vol. % silica nanoparticles and for samples of pure components. The size of the elements used for modelling was fixed at 10 nm, corresponding approximately to the diameter of the filler particles. Modelling results were compared with tensile test results of both, pure epoxy as well as the epoxy-5 vol. % SiO2 composite. Since assuming bulk properties of the two constituents did not yield satisfactory results, slight modifications of the nanoparticle response functions and nanostructures were tested numerically. Finally, slightly increased strength properties of both constituents had to be taken into account for obtaining good correlation between experimental and modelling results. The tendency of model parameter adjustments corroborate expected changes of composite constituents compared to their respective bulk structures.
Andrey I. Dmitriev - Institute of Strength Physics and Materials Science RAS / Tomsk State University Werner Österle - BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing Bernd Wetzel - IVW Institute for Composite Materials Ga. Zhang - Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics CAS