[Illinois] Beckman Graduate Seminar: Computational Modeling and Design of Actively-Cooled 3D Woven Microvascular Composites
A novel approach to introduce bio-inspired three-dimensional microvascular networks in actively-cooled structural 3D woven composites for high-temperature applications has been introduced. We also develop a new computational technique to design the configuration of the embedded microchannels. To manufacture the microvascular composite, sacrificial fibers of catalyst-impregnated polylactide (PLA) are first woven with structural reinforcement fibers, such as glass and carbon fibers, in 3D architectures and composites are manufactured using the resin transfer molding process. Fabrication of hollow micro-vascular channels is achieved through thermally triggered de-polymerization of the sacrificial fibers and removal of the resulting monomer in vapor form. The resulting microvascular composites achieve thermal management in composites through two primary mechanisms: (a) by absorbing and removing heat from the system via the continuous circulation of a coolant, and (b) by redistributing heat inside the composite via an optimized network design for enhanced convective cooling. A novel Interface-enriched Generalized Finite Element Method (IGFEM) is employed to model the embedded microchannels in the microstructure of the woven composite and to evaluate the thermal response of the actively-cooled composite. Numerical simulations are validated with experimental measurments, obtained through infrared imaging of the temperature field in an actively-cooled microvascular composite specimen. The computational tools are then used to determine optimal microchannels configuration that yields the lowest temperature in the domain, while maintains the flow efficiency and mechanical properties of the material.
Soheil Soghrati is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Illinois. He holds a MS in Structural Engineering and a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Isfahan University of Technology, Iran.
• Mesh-independent generalized finite element analysis of fluid/solid mechanics problems
• Active thermal management in microfluidic devices and microvascular composites
• Computational modeling of fracture and dynamics crack growth in heterogeneous materials
Researchers should cite this work as follows:
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL