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Wetting of a solid surface with liquids is an important parameter in the chemical engineering process such as distillation, absorption and desorption. The degree of wetting in packed columns mainly contributes in the generating of the effective interfacial area and then enhancing of the heat and mass transfer process. In this work the wetting of solid surfaces was studied in real experimental work and virtually through three dimensional CFD simulations using the multiphase flow VOF model implemented in the commercial software FLUENT. That can be used to simulate the stratified flows [1]. The liquid rivulet flow which is a special case of the film flow and mostly found in packed columns has been discussed. Wetting of a solid flat and wavy metal plate with rivulet liquid flow was simulated and experimentally validated. The local rivulet thickness was measured using an optically assisted mechanical sensor using a needle which is moved perpendicular to the plate surface with a step motor and in the other two directions using two micrometers. The measured and simulated rivulet profiles were compared to some selected theoretical models founded in the literature such as Duffy & Muffatt [2], Towell & Rothfeld [3] and Al-Khalil et al. [4]. The velocity field in a cross section of a rivulet flow and the non-dimensional maximum and mean velocity values for the vertical flat plate was also compared with models from Al-Khalil et al. [4] and Allen & Biggin [5]. Few CFD simulations for the wavy plate case were compared to the experimental findings, and the Towel model for a flat plate [3]. In the second stage of this work 3-D CFD simulations and experimental study has been performed for wetting of a structured packing element and packing sheet consisting of three elements from the type Rombopak 4M, which is a product of the company Kuhni, Switzerland. The hydrodynamics parameters of a packed column, e. i. the degree of wetting, the interfacial area and liquid hold-up have been depicted from the CFD simulations for different liquid systems and liquid loads. Flow patterns on the degree of wetting have been compared to that of the experiments, where the experimental values for the degree of wetting were estimated from the snap shooting of the flow on the packing sheet in a test rig. A new model to describe the hydrodynamics of packed columns equipped with Rombopak 4M was derived with help of the CFD–simulation results. The model predicts the degree of wetting, the specific or interfacial area and liquid hold-up at different flow conditions. This model was compared to Billet & Schultes [6], the SRP model Rocha et al. [7-9], to Shi & Mersmann [10] and others. Since the pressure drop is one of the most important parameter in packed columns especially for vacuum operating columns, few CFD simulations were performed to estimate the dry pressure drop in a structured and flat packing element and were compared to the experimental results. It was found a good agreement from one side, between the experimental and the CFD simulation results, and from the other side between the simulations and theoretical models for the rivulet flow on an inclined plate. The flow patterns and liquid spreading behaviour on the packing element agrees well with the experimental results. The VOF (Volume of Fluid) was found very sensitive to different liquid properties and can be used in optimization of the packing geometries and revealing critical details of wetting and film flow. An extension of this work to perform CFD simulations for the flow inside a block of the packing to get a detailed picture about the interaction between the liquid and packing surfaces is recommended as further perspective.

This research explores the development of web based reference software for
characterisation of surface roughness for two-dimensional surface data. The reference software used for verification of surface characteristics makes the evaluation methods easier for clients. The algorithms used in this software
are based on International ISO standards. Most software used in industrial measuring
instruments may give variations in the parameters calculated due to numerical changes in
calculation. Such variations can be verified using the proposed reference software.
The evaluation of surface roughness is carried out in four major steps: data capture, data
align, data filtering and parameter calculation. This work walks through each of these steps
explaining how surface profiles are evaluated by pre-processing steps called fitting and
filtering. The analysis process is then followed by parameter evaluation according to DIN EN
ISO 4287 and DIN EN ISO 13565-2 standards to extract important information from the
profile to characterise surface roughness.

Nanotechnology is now recognized as one of the most promising areas for technological
development in the 21st century. In materials research, the development of
polymer nanocomposites is rapidly emerging as a multidisciplinary research activity
whose results could widen the applications of polymers to the benefit of many different
industries. Nanocomposites are a new class of composites that are particle-filled
polymers for which at least one dimension of the dispersed particle is in the nanometer
range. In the related area polymer/clay nanocomposites have attracted considerable
interest because they often exhibit remarkable property improvements when
compared to virgin polymer or conventional micro- and macro- composites.
The present work addresses the toughening and reinforcement of thermoplastics via
a novel method which allows us to achieve micro- and nanocomposites. In this work
two matrices are used: amorphous polystyrene (PS) and semi-crystalline polyoxymethylene
(POM). Polyurethane (PU) was selected as the toughening agent for POM
and used in its latex form. It is noteworthy that the mean size of rubber latices is
closely matched with that of conventional toughening agents, impact modifiers.
Boehmite alumina and sodium fluorohectorite (FH) were used as reinforcements.
One of the criteria for selecting these fillers was that they are water swellable/
dispersible and thus their nanoscale dispersion can be achieved also in aqueous
polymer latex. A systematic study was performed on how to adapt discontinuousand
continuous manufacturing techniques for the related nanocomposites.
The dispersion of nanofillers was characterized by transmission, scanning electron
and atomic force microcopy (TEM, SEM and AFM respectively), X-ray diffraction
(XRD) techniques, and discussed. The crystallization of POM was studied by means
of differential scanning calorimetry and polarized light optical microscopy (DSC and
PLM, respectively). The mechanical and thermomechanical properties of the composites
were determined in uniaxial tensile, dynamic-mechanical thermal analysis
(DMTA), short-time creep tests, and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA).
PS composites were produced first by a discontinuous manufacturing technique,
whereby FH or alumina was incorporated in the PS matrix by melt blending with and
without latex precompounding of PS latex with the nanofiller. It was found that direct melt mixing (DM) of the nanofillers with PS resulted in micro-, whereas the latex mediated
pre-compounding (masterbatch technique, MB) in nanocomposites. FH was
not intercalated by PS when prepared by DM. On the other hand, FH was well dispersed
(mostly intercalated) in PS via the PS latex-mediated predispersion of FH following
the MB route. The nanocomposites produced by MB outperformed the DM
compounded microcomposites in respect to properties like stiffness, strength and
ductility based on dynamic-mechanical and static tensile tests. It was found that the
resistance to creep (summarized in master curves) of the nanocomposites were improved
compared to those of the microcomposites. Master curves (creep compliance
vs. time), constructed based on isothermal creep tests performed at different temperatures,
showed that the nanofiller reinforcement affects mostly the initial creep
compliance.
Next, ternary composites composed of POM, PU and boehmite alumina were produced
by melt blending with and without latex precompounding. Latex precompounding
served for the predispersion of the alumina particles. The related MB was produced
by mixing the PU latex with water dispersible boehmite alumina. The composites
produced by the MB technique outperformed the DM compounded composites in
respect to most of the thermal and mechanical characteristics.
Toughened and/or reinforced PS- and POM-based composites have been successfully
produced by a continuous extrusion technique, too. This technique resulted in
good dispersion of both nanofillers (boehmite) and impact modifier (PU). Compared
to the microcomposites obtained by conventional DM, the nanofiller dispersion became
finer and uniform when using the water-mediated predispersion. The resulting
structure markedly affected the mechanical properties (stiffness and creep resistance)
of the corresponding composites. The impact resistance of POM was highly
enhanced by the addition of PU rubber when manufactured by the continuous extrusion
manufacturing technique. This was traced to the dispersed PU particle size being
in the range required from conventional, impact modifiers.

In this thesis viscoelastic material models are established to investigate the nature of continuous calving processes at Antarctic ice shelves. Physics-based descriptions of calving require appropriate fracture criteria to separate icebergs from the remaining ice shelf. Hence, criteria of the stress, the strain, and the self-similarity criterion are considered within finite-element computations. Crucial parameters in the models to determine the position of calving are the accurate knowledge of the geometry, especially the freeboard height, while the material parameters mainly influence the time span between two successive calving events. The extension to nonlinear material models is necessary to properly analyze the internal forces also for large deformations that occur for longer times of the viscous ice flow.

The main goal of this work was the study of the applicability of a polymer film heat exchanger concept for the applications in the chemical industry, such as the condensation of organic solvents. The polymer film heat exchanger investigated is a plate heat exchanger with very thin (0.025 – 0.1 mm) plates or films, which separate the fluids and enable the heat transfer. After a successful application of this concept to seawater desalination in a previous work, a further step is in chemical engineering, where the good chemical resistance of polymers in aggressive fluids is the challenge.
Two approaches were performed in this work. The first one was experimental and included the study of the chemical and mechanical resistance of preselected films, made of polymer materials, such as polyimide (PI), polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). To simulate realistic operating conditions in a heat exchanger the films were exposed to a combined thermal (up to 90°C) and mechanical pressure loads (4-6 bar) with permanent contact with the relevant organic solvents, such as toluene, hexane, heptane and tetrahydrofuran (THF). Furthermore, a lab-scale apparatus and a full-scale demonstrator were manufactured in cooperation with two industrial partners. These were used for the investigation of the heat transfer performance for operating modes with and without phase change.
In addition to the experimental work, a coupled finite element –computational fluid dynamics (FEM-CFD)-model was developed, based on the fluid-structure-interaction (FSI). Two major tasks had to be solved here. The first one was the modelling of the condensation process, based on available mathematical models and energy balances. The second one was the consideration of the partially reversible deformation of the used film during operation. Since this deformation changes the geometry of the fluid channels also has an influence on the overall performance of the apparatus, a coupled FEM-CFD model was developed.
During the experimental study of the chemical resistance of the films, the PTFE film showed the best performance, and hence can be used for all four tested solvents. For the polyimide film, failures while exposed to THF were observed, and the PET film can only be used with water and hexane. With the used lab-scale heat exchanger and the full-scale demonstrator competitive overall heat transfer coefficients between 270 W/m²K and 700 W/m²K could be reached for the liquid-liquid (water-water, water-hexane) operation mode without phase change. For the condensation process, overall heat transfer coefficients of up to 1700/m²K could be obtained.
The numerical approach led to a well-functioning coupled model in a very small scale (1 cm²). An upscale, however, failed due to enormous hardware resources necessary required for the simulation of the entire full-scale demonstrator. The main reason for this is the very low thickness of the films, which leads to tiny mesh element sizes (<0.05 mm) necessary to model the deformation of the film. The modelling of the liquid-liquid heat transfer provided an acceptable accuracy (approx. 10%), but at very low rates the deviations were then higher (over 30%). The results of the condensation modelling were ambivalent. One the one hand a physically plausible model was developed, which could map the entire condensation process. On the other hand, the corresponding energy balance revealed major inaccuracy and hence could not be used for the determination of the overall heat transfer and showed the current limits of the FEM-CFD approach.

This work presents a framework for the computation of complex geometries containing intersections of multiple patches with Reissner-Mindlin shell elements. The main objective is to provide an isogeometric finite element implementation which neither requires drilling rotation stabilization, nor user interaction to quantify the number of rotational degrees of freedom for every node. For this purpose, the following set of methods is presented. Control points with corresponding physical location are assigned to one common node for the finite element solution. A nodal basis system in every control point is defined, which ensures an exact interpolation of the director vector throughout the whole domain. A distinction criterion for the automatic quantification of rotational degrees of freedom for every node is presented. An isogeometric Reissner-Mindlin shell formulation is enhanced to handle geometries with kinks and allowing for arbitrary intersections of patches. The parametrization of adjacent patches along the interface has to be conforming. The shell formulation is derived from the continuum theory and uses a rotational update scheme for the current director vector. The nonlinear kinematic allows the computation of large deformations and large rotations. Two concepts for the description of rotations are presented. The first one uses an interpolation which is commonly used in standard Lagrange-based shell element formulations. The second scheme uses a more elaborate concept proposed by the authors in prior work, which increases the accuracy for arbitrary curved geometries. Numerical examples show the high accuracy and robustness of both concepts. The applicability of the proposed framework is demonstrated.

Hydrogels are known to be covalently or ionic cross-linked, hydrophilic three-dimensional
polymer networks, which exist in our bodies in a biological gel form such as the vitreous
humour that fills the interior of the eyes. Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (poly(NIPAAm))
hydrogels are attracting more interest in biomedical applications because, besides others, they
exhibit a well-defined lower critical solution temperature (LCST) in water, around 31–34°C,
which is close to the body temperature. This is considered to be of great interest in drug
delivery, cell encapsulation, and tissue engineering applications. In this work, the
poly(NIPAAm) hydrogel is synthesized by free radical polymerization. Hydrogel properties
and the dimensional changes accompanied with the volume phase transition of the
thermosensitive poly(NIPAAm) hydrogel were investigated in terms of Raman spectra,
swelling ratio, and hydration. The thermal swelling/deswelling changes that occur at different
equilibrium temperatures and different solutions (phenol, ethanol, propanol, and sodium
chloride) based on Raman spectrum were investigated. In addition, Raman spectroscopy has
been employed to evaluate the diffusion aspects of bovine serum albumin (BSA) and phenol
through the poly(NIPAAm) network. The determination of the mutual diffusion coefficient,
\(D_{mut}\) for hydrogels/solvent system was achieved successfully using Raman spectroscopy at
different solute concentrations. Moreover, the mechanical properties of the hydrogel, which
were investigated by uniaxial compression tests, were used to characterize the hydrogel and to
determine the collective diffusion coefficient through the hydrogel. The solute release coupled
with shrinking of the hydrogel particles was modelled with a bi-dimensional diffusion model
with moving boundary conditions. The influence of the variable diffusion coefficient is
observed and leads to a better description of the kinetic curve in the case of important
deformation around the LCST. A good accordance between experimental and calculated data
was obtained.

With the burgeoning computing power available, multiscale modelling and simulation has these days become increasingly capable of capturing the details of physical processes on different scales. The mechanical behavior of solids is oftentimes the result of interaction between multiple spatial and temporal scales at different levels and hence it is a typical phenomena of interest exhibiting multiscale characteristic. At the most basic level, properties of solids can be attributed to atomic interactions and crystal structure that can be described on nano scale. Mechanical properties at the macro scale are modeled using continuum mechanics for which we mention stresses and strains. Continuum models, however they offer an efficient way of studying material properties they are not accurate enough and lack microstructural information behind the microscopic mechanics that cause the material to behave in a way it does. Atomistic models are concerned with phenomenon at the level of lattice thereby allowing investigation of detailed crystalline and defect structures, and yet the length scales of interest are inevitably far beyond the reach of full atomistic computation and is rohibitively expensive. This makes it necessary the need for multiscale models. The bottom line and a possible avenue to this end is, coupling different length scales, the continuum and the atomistics in accordance with standard procedures. This is done by recourse to the Cauchy-Born rule and in so doing, we aim at a model that is efficient and reasonably accurate in mimicking physical behaviors observed in nature or laboratory. In this work, we focus on concurrent coupling based on energetic formulations that links the continuum to atomistics. At the atomic scale, we describe deformation of the solid by the displaced positions of atoms that make up the solid and at the continuum level deformation of the solid is described by the displacement field that minimize the total energy. In the coupled model, continuum-atomistic, a continuum formulation is retained as the overall framework of the problem and the atomistic feature is introduced by way of constitutive description, with the Cauchy-Born rule establishing the point of contact. The entire formulation is made in the framework of nonlinear elasticity and all the simulations are carried out within the confines of quasistatic settings. The model gives direct account to measurable features of microstructures developed by crystals through sequential lamination.

In the present work the modelling and numerical treatment of discontinuities in thermo-mechanical solids is investigated and applied to diverse physical problems. From this topic a structure for this work results, which considers the formulation of thermo-mechanical processes in continua in the first part and which forms the mechanical and thermodynamical framework for the description of discontinuities and interfaces, that is performed in the second part. The representation of the modelling of solid materials bases on the detailed derivation of geometrically nonlinear kinematics, that yields different strain and stress measures for the material and spatial configuration. Accordingly, this results in different formulations of the mechanical and thermodynamical balance equations. On these foundations we firstly derive by means of the concepts of the plasticity theory an elasto-plastic prototype-model, that is extended subsequently. In the centre of interest is the formulation of damage models in consideration of rate-dependent material behaviour. In the next step follows the extension of the isothermal material models to thermo-mechanically coupled problems, whereby also the special case of adiabatic processes is discussed. Within the representation of the different constitutive laws, the importance is attached to their modular structure. Moreover, a detailed discussion of the isothermal and the thermo-mechanically coupled problem with respect to their numerical treatment is performed. For this purpose the weak forms with respect to the different configurations and the corresponding linearizations are derived and discretized. The derived material models are highlighted by numerical examples and also proved with respect to plausibility. In order to take discontinuities into account appropriate kinematics are introduced and the mechanical and thermodynamical balance equations have to be modified correspondingly. The numerical description is accomplished by so-called interface-elements, which are based on an adequate discretization. In this context two application fields are distinguished. On the one side the interface elements provide a tool for the description of postcritical processes in the framework of localization problems, which include material separation and therefore they are appropriate for the description of cutting processes. Here in turn one has to make the difference between the domain-dependent and the domain-independent formulation, which mainly differ in the definition of the interfacial strain measure. On the other side material properties are attached to the interfaces whereas the spatial extension is neglectable. A typical application of this type of discontinuities can be found in the scope of the modelling of composites, for instance. In both applications the corresponding thermo-mechanical formulations are derived. Finally, the different interface formulations are highlighted by some numerical examples and they are also proved with respect to plausibility.

Within this thesis we present a novel approach towards the modeling of strong discontinuities in a three dimensional finite element framework for large deformations. This novel finite element framework is modularly constructed containing three essential parts: (i) the bulk problem, ii) the cohesive interface problem and iii) the crack tracking problem. Within this modular design, chapter 2 (Continuous solid mechanics) treats the behavior of the bulk problem (i). It includes the overall description of the continuous kinematics, the required balance equations, the constitutive setting and the finite element formulation with its corresponding discretization and required solution strategy for the emerging highly non-linear equations. Subsequently, we discuss the modeling of strong discontinuities within finite element discretization schemes in chapter 3 (Discontinuous solid mechanics). Starting with an extension of the continuous kinematics to the discontinuous situation, we discuss the phantom-node discretization scheme based on the works of Hansbo & Hansbo. Thereby, in addition to a comparison with the extended finite element method (XFEM), importance is attached to the technical details for the adaptive introduction of the required discontinuous elements: The splitting of finite elements, the numerical integration, the visualization and the formulation of geometrical correct crack tip elements. In chapter 4 (The cohesive crack concept), we consider the treatment of cohesive process zones and the associated treatment of cohesive tractions. By applying this approach we are able to merge all irreversible, crack propagation accompanying, failure mechanisms into an arbitrary traction separation relation. Additionally, this concept ensures bounded crack tip stresses and allows the use of stress-based failure criteria for the determination of crack growth. In summary, the use of the discontinuous elements in conjunction with cohesive traction separation allows the mesh-independent computation of crack propagation along pre-defined crack paths. Therefore, this combination is defined as the interface problem (ii) and represents the next building block in the modular design of this thesis. The description and the computation of the evolving crack surface, based on the actual status of a considered specimen is the key issue of chapter 5 (Crack path tracking strategies). In contrast to the two-dimensional case, where tracking the path in a C0-continuous way is straightforward, three-dimensional crack path tracking requires additional strategies. We discuss the currently available approaches regarding this issue and further compare the approaches by means of usual quality measures. In the modular design of this thesis these algorithms represent the last main part which is classified as the crack tracking problem (iii). Finally chapter 6 (Representative numerical examples) verifies the finite element tool by comparisons of the computational results which experiments and benchmarks of engineering fracture problems in concrete. Afterwards the finite element tool is applied to model folding induced fracture of geological structures.