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Modeling of the Multiscale Dispersion of Nanoparticles in a Hematite Coating

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Images of a hematite-based epoxy coating are obtained by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). At the scale of a few micrometers, they show aggregates of hematite nano-particles organized along thin curved channels. We first segment the images and analyze them using mathematical morphology. The heterogeneous dispersion of particles is quantified using the correlation function and the granulometry of the embedding (epoxy) phase. Second, a two-scales, 3D random microstructure model with exclusion zones is proposed to simulate the spatial distribution of particles. This simple model is parametrized by four geometrical parameters related to the exclusion zones solely. The microstructure is numerically optimized, in the space of morphological parameters, on the granulometry of the embedding epoxy phase and on the microstructure correlation function, by standard gradient-descent methods. Excellent agreement is found between the SEM images and our optimized model. Finally, the size of the representative volume element associated to the optimized microstructure model is compared with that of the SEM images.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2015

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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