Micromechanical Viscoelastic Analysis of Flax Fiber Reinforced Bio-Based Polyurethane Composites
In this study, a novel, bio-based polyol was used in the formulation of a polyurethane (PU) matrix for a composite material where flax fiber was used as the reinforcement. The viscoelastic properties of the matrix and flax fiber were determined by a linear viscoelastic model through experimentation and the results were used as input for the material properties in the computational model. A finite element micromechanical model of a representative volume element (RVE) in terms of repeating unit cells (RUC) was developed to predict the mechanical properties of composites. Six loading conditions were applied on the RUC to predict and define the viscoelastic behavior of the composite unit cell. The time-history of averaged response was determined in terms of stress and strains. The results of this study suggest that applying the overall rate-dependent behavior of flax fiber to the micromechanical model leads to a good agreement between the micromechanical modeling and experimental results. The modeling approach is efficient and accurate as long as the periodicity in the composite rules. This modeling approach can be used as a powerful algorithm in determining linear and nonlinear properties in material mechanics analysis and characterization.
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