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Metal hydrides can be used to store hydrogen on-board fuel cell vehicles, but the process of fracture that the material undergoes when exposed to hydrogen makes metal hydrides poor conductors of heat due to the particulate nature of fractured metal hydride. The fracture process by which particles are generated results in irregular faceted morphology that are difficult to describe quantitatively from experimental data. The isotropic random fracture model, rndmfrc, generates convex polyhedra by the sequential fracture of isotropic, randomly oriented planes, and can be used to model particles composing metal hydride powder. The isotropic random fracture model assumes (1) planar surfaces are formed from instances of fracture, (2) planes of fracture have isotropic statistical orientation and position throughout the material, and (3) fracture of any individual particle can terminate during the sequential fracture process according to a criterion. This tool enables modeling of discrete metal hydride particles under the approximation of planar fracture with isotropic orientation and position.
Researchers should cite this work as follows:
- Smith K.C. and Fisher T.S., Physics based models for metal hydride particle morphology, size distribution, packing, and effective thermal conductivity, MRS Spring 2009 Meeting