Matching Items (3)

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Development of an Ionic Liquid Electrolyte for Seismometer Applications

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Iodide-based ionic liquids have been widely employed as sources of iodide in electrolytes for applications utilizing the triiodide/iodide redox couple. While adding a low-viscosity solvent such as water to ionic liquids can greatly enhance their usefulness, mixtures of highly viscous

Iodide-based ionic liquids have been widely employed as sources of iodide in electrolytes for applications utilizing the triiodide/iodide redox couple. While adding a low-viscosity solvent such as water to ionic liquids can greatly enhance their usefulness, mixtures of highly viscous iodide-containing ILs with water have never been studied. Thus, this paper investigates, for the first time, mixtures of water and the ionic liquid 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium iodide ([BMIM][I]) through a combined experimental and molecular dynamics study. The density, melting point, viscosity and conductivity of these mixtures were measured experimentally. The composition region below 50% water by mole was found to be dramatically different from the region above 50% water, with trends in density and melting point differing before and after that point. Water was found to have a profound effect on viscosity and conductivity of the IL, and the effect of hydrogen bonding was discussed. Molecular dynamics simulations representing the same mixture compositions were performed. Molecular ordering was observed, as were changes in this ordering corresponding to water content. Molecular ordering was related to the experimentally measured mixture properties, providing a possible explanation for the two distinct composition regions identified by experiment.

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Date Created
2015-05

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Stress-responsive nano- and microcomposites featuring mechanophore units

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The problem of catastrophic damage purveys in any material application, and minimizing its occurrence is paramount for general health and safety. Thus, novel damage detection schemes are required that can sense the precursors to damage. Mechanochemistry is the area of

The problem of catastrophic damage purveys in any material application, and minimizing its occurrence is paramount for general health and safety. Thus, novel damage detection schemes are required that can sense the precursors to damage. Mechanochemistry is the area of research that involves the use of mechanical force to induce a chemical change, with recent study focusing on directing the mechanical force to embedded mechanophore units for a targeted chemical response. Mechanophores are molecular units that provide a measureable signal in response to an applied force, often in the form of a visible color change or fluorescent emission, and their application to thermoset network polymers has been limited. Following preliminary work on polymer blends of cyclobutane-based mechanophores and epoxy, dimeric 9-anthracene carboxylic acid (Di-AC)-based mechanophore particles were synthesized and employed to form stress sensitive particle reinforced epoxy matrix composites.

Under an applied stress, the cyclooctane-rings in the Di-AC particles revert back to their fluorescent anthracene form, which linearly enhances the overall fluorescence of the composite in response to the applied strain. The fluorescent signal further allows for stress sensing in the elastic region of the stress-strain curve, which is considered to be a form of damage precursor detection. This behavior was further analyzed at the molecular scale with corresponding molecular dynamics simulations. Following the successful application of Di-AC to an epoxy matrix, the mechanophore particles were incorporated into a polyurethane matrix to show the universal nature of Di-AC as a stress-sensitive particle filler. Interestingly, in polyurethane Di-AC could successfully detect damage with less applied strain compared to the epoxy system.

While mechanophores of varying chemistries have been covalently incorporated into elastomeric and thermoplastic polymer systems, they have not yet been covalently incorporated a thermoset network polymer. Thus, following the study of mechanophore particles as stress-sensitive fillers, two routes of grafting mechanophore units into an epoxy system to form a self-sensing nanocomposite were explored. These involved the mechanophore precursor and mechanophore, cinnamamide and di-cinnamamide, respectively. With both molecules, the free amine groups can directly bond to epoxy resin to covalently incorporate themselves within the thermoset network to form a self-sensing nanocomposite.

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Date Created
2016

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A new atomistic simulation framework for mechanochemical reaction analysis of mechanophore embedded nanocomposites

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A hybrid molecular dynamics (MD) simulation framework is developed to emulate mechanochemical reaction of mechanophores in epoxy-based nanocomposites. Two different force fields, a classical force field and a bond order based force field are hybridized to mimic the experimental processes

A hybrid molecular dynamics (MD) simulation framework is developed to emulate mechanochemical reaction of mechanophores in epoxy-based nanocomposites. Two different force fields, a classical force field and a bond order based force field are hybridized to mimic the experimental processes from specimen preparation to mechanical loading test. Ultra-violet photodimerization for mechanophore synthesis and epoxy curing for thermoset polymer generation are successfully simulated by developing a numerical covalent bond generation method using the classical force field within the framework. Mechanical loading tests to activate mechanophores are also virtually conducted by deforming the volume of a simulation unit cell. The unit cell deformation leads to covalent bond elongation and subsequent bond breakage, which is captured using the bond order based force field. The outcome of the virtual loading test is used for local work analysis, which enables a quantitative study of mechanophore activation. Through the local work analysis, the onset and evolution of mechanophore activation indicating damage initiation and propagation are estimated; ultimately, the mechanophore sensitivity to external stress is evaluated. The virtual loading tests also provide accurate estimations of mechanical properties such as elastic, shear, bulk modulus, yield strain/strength, and Poisson’s ratio of the system. Experimental studies are performed in conjunction with the simulation work to validate the hybrid MD simulation framework. Less than 2% error in estimations of glass transition temperature (Tg) is observed with experimentally measured Tgs by use of differential scanning calorimetry. Virtual loading tests successfully reproduce the stress-strain curve capturing the effect of mechanophore inclusion on mechanical properties of epoxy polymer; comparable changes in Young’s modulus and yield strength are observed in experiments and simulations. Early damage signal detection, which is identified in experiments by observing increased intensity before the yield strain, is captured in simulations by showing that the critical strain representing the onset of the mechanophore activation occurs before the estimated yield strain. It is anticipated that the experimentally validated hybrid MD framework presented in this dissertation will provide a low-cost alternative to additional experiments that are required for optimizing material design parameters to improve damage sensing capability and mechanical properties.

In addition to the study of mechanochemical reaction analysis, an atomistic model of interphase in carbon fiber reinforced composites is developed. Physical entanglement between semi-crystalline carbon fiber surface and polymer matrix is captured by introducing voids in multiple graphene layers, which allow polymer matrix to intertwine with graphene layers. The hybrid MD framework is used with some modifications to estimate interphase properties that include the effect of the physical entanglement. The results are compared with existing carbon fiber surface models that assume that carbon fiber has a crystalline structure and hence are unable to capture the physical entanglement. Results indicate that the current model shows larger stress gradients across the material interphase. These large stress gradients increase the viscoplasticity and damage effects at the interphase. The results are important for improved prediction of the nonlinear response and damage evolution in composite materials.

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Date Created
2017