## Fachbereich Maschinenbau und Verfahrenstechnik

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- Wetting of Structured Packing Elements - CFD and Experiment (2006)
- 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.

- Mechanical integrators for constrained dynamical systems in flexible multibody dynamics (2006)
- The primary object of this work is the development of a robust, accurate and efficient time integrator for the dynamics of flexible multibody systems. Particularly a unified framework for the computational dynamics of multibody systems consisting of mass points, rigid bodies and flexible beams forming open kinematic chains or closed loop systems is developed. In addition, it aims at the presentation of (i) a focused survey of the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formalism for dynamics, (ii) five different methods to enforce constraints with their respective relations, and (iii) three alternative ways for the temporal discretisation of the evolution equations. The relations between the different methods for the constraint enforcement in conjunction with one specific energy-momentum conserving temporal discretisation method are proved and their numerical performances are compared by means of theoretical considerations as well as with the help of numerical examples.

- Towards Material Modelling within Continuum-Atomistics (2006)
- 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.

- Rate dependent nonlinear properties of perovskite tetragonal piezoelectric materials using a micromechanical model (2006)
- Nowadays piezoelectric and ferroelectric materials are becoming more and more an interesting part of smart materials in scientific and engineering applications. Precision machining in manufacturing, micropositioning in metrology, common rail systems with piezo fuel injection control in automobile industry, and ferroelectric random access memories (FRAM) in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) besides commercial piezo actuators and sensors can be very good examples for the application of piezoceramic and ferroelectric materials. In spite of having good characteristics, piezoelectric and ferroelectric materials have significant nonlinearities, which limit the applications in high performance usage. Domain switching (ferroelastic or ferroelectric) is the main reason for the nonlinearity of ferroelectric materials. External excessive electromechanical loads (mechanical stress and electric field) are driving forces for domain switching. In literature, various important experiments related to the non-linear properties of piezoelectric and ferroelectric materials are reported. Simulations of nonlinear properties of piezoelectric and ferroelectric materials based on physical insights of the material have been performed during the last two decades by using micromechanical and phenomenological models. The most significant experiments and models are deeply discussed in the literature survey. In this thesis the nonlinear behaviour of tetragonal perovskite type piezoceramic materials is simulated theoretically using two and three dimensional micromechanical models which are based on physical insights of the material. In the simulations a bulk piezoceramic material which has numerous grains is considered. Each grain has random orientation in properties of polarization and strain. Randomness of orientations is given by Euler angles equally distributed between \(0\) and \(2\pi\). Each element in the micromechanical model has been assumed to have the same properties of the real piezoelectric grain. In the first part of the simulations, quasi-static characteristics of piezoelectric materials are investigated by applying cyclic, rate independent, bipolar, uni-axial and external electrical loading with an amplitude of 2 kV/mm gradually starting from zero value in virgin state. Moreover, the simulations are undertaken for these materials which are subjected to quasi-static, uni-polar, uni-axial mechanical stress, namely compressive stress. The calculations are performed at each element based on linear constitutive equations, nonlinear domain switching and a probability theory for domain switching. In order to fit the simulations to the experimental data, some parameters such as spontaneous polarization, spontaneous strain, piezoelectric and dielectric constants are chosen from literature. The domain switching of each grain is determined by an electromechanical energy criterion. Depending on the actual energy related to a critical energy a certain probability is introduced for domain switching of the polarization direction. Same energy levels are assumed in the electromechanical energy relation for different types of domain switching like 90º and 180º for perovskite type tetragonal or 70.5º and 109.5º for rhombohedral microstructures. It is assumed that intergranular effects between grains can be modelled by such probability functions phenomenologically. The macroscopic response of the material to the applied electromechanical loading is calculated by using Euler transformations and averaging the individual grains. Properties of piezoelectric materials under fixed mechanical stresses are also investigated by applying constant compressive stress in addition to cyclic electrical loading in the simulations. Compressive stress is applied and kept constant before cyclic bipolar electrical loading is implemented. In the following chapters, a three-dimensional micromechanical model is extended for the simulation of the rate dependent properties of certain perovskite type tetragonal piezoelectric materials. The frequency dependent micromechanical model is now not only based on linear constitutive and nonlinear domain switching but also linear kinetics theories. The material is loaded both electrically and mechanically in separate manner with an alternating electrical voltage and mechanical stress values of various moderate frequencies, which are in the order of 0.01 Hz to 1 Hz. Electromechanical energy equation in combination with a probability function is again used to determine the onset of the domain switching inside the grains. The propagation of the domain wall during the domain switching process in grains is modelled by means of linear kinetics relations after a new domain nucleates. Electric displacement versus electric field hysteresis loops, mechanical strain versus mechanical stress and electric displacement versus mechanical stress for different frequencies and amplitudes of the alternating electric fields and compressive stresses are simulated and presented. A simple micromechanical model without using probabilistic approach is compared with the one that takes it into account. Both models give important insights into the rate dependency of piezoelectric materials, which was observed in some experiments reported in the literature. Intergranular effects are other significant factors for nonlinearities of polycrystalline ferroelectric materials. Even piezoelectric actuators and sensors show nonlinearities when they are operated with electrical loading, which is much lower than the coercive electric field level. Intergranular effects are the main cause of such small hysteresis loops. In the corresponding chapter, two basic field effects which are electrical and mechanical are taken into account for the consideration of intergranular effects micromechanically in the simulations of the two dimensional model. Therefore, a new electromechanical energy equation for the threshold of domain switching is introduced to explain nonlinearities stemming from both domain switching and intergranular effects. The material parameters like coercive electric field and critical spontaneous polarization or strain quantities are not implemented in the electromechanical energy relation. But, this relation contains new parameters which consider both mechanical and electrical field characteristics of neighbouring elements. By using this new model, mechanical strain versus electric field butterfly curves under small electrical loading conditions are also simulated. Hence, a rate dependent concept is applied in butterfly curves by means of linear kinetics model. As a result, the simulations have better matching with corresponding experiments in literature. In the next step, the model can be extended in three dimensional case and the parameters of electromechanical energy relation can be improved in order to get better simulations of nonlinear properties of polycrystalline piezoelectric materials.

- Computational Modeling of Strong and Weak Discontinuities (2006)
- Discontinuities can appear in different fields of mechanics. Some examples where discontinuities arise are more obvious such as the formation of cracks. Other sources of discontinuities are less apparent such as interfaces between different materials. Furthermore continuous fields with steep gradients can also be considered as discontinuous fields. This work aims at the inclusion of arbitrary discontinuities within the finite element method. Although the finite element method is the most sophisticated numerical tool in modern engineering, the inclusion of discontinuities is still a challenging task. Traditionally within finite the framework of FE methods discontinuities are modeled explicitely by the construction of the mesh. Thus, when a fixed mesh is used, the position of the discontinuity is prescribed by the location of interelement boundaries and not by the physical situation. The simulation of crack growth requires a frequent adaption of the mesh and that can be a difficult and computationally expensive task. Thus a more flexible numerical approach is needed which leads to the mesh-independent representation of the discontinuity. A challenging field where the accurate description of discontinuities is of vital importance is the modeling of failure in engineering materials. The load capacity of a structure is limited by the material strength. If the load limit is exceeded failure zones arise and increase. Representative examples of failure mechanisms are are cracks in brittle materials or shear bands in metals or soils. Failure processes are often accompanied by a strain softening material behaviour (decreasing load carrying capacity with increasing strain at a material point). It is known that the inclusion of strain softening material behaviour within a continuum description requires regularization techniques to preserve the well- posedness of the governing equations. One possibility is the consideration of non-local or gradient terms in the constitutive equations but these approaches require a sufficiently fine discretization in the localization zone, which leads to a high numerical effort. If the extent of the failure zone and the failure process to the point of the development of discrete cracks is considered it seems reasonable to include strong discontinuities. In the framework of fracture mechanics the inclusion of displacement jumps is intuitively comprehensible. However, the modeling of localized failure processes demands the consideration of inelastic material behaviour. Cohesive zone models represent an approach which is especially suited for the incorporation within the finite element framework. It is supposed that cohesive tractions are transmitted between the discontinuity surfaces. These tractions are constitutively prescribed by a phenomenological traction separation law and thus allow for the modeling of different inelastic mechanisms, like micro-crack evolution, initiation of voids, plastic flow or crack bridging. The incorporation of a displacement discontinuity in combination with a cohesive traction separation law leads to a sound model to describe failure processes and crack propagation. Another area where the existence of discontinuities is not as obvious is the occurence of material interfaces, inclusions or holes. The accurate modeling of such internal interfaces is important to predict the mechanical behaviour of components. The present discontinuity is of different nature: the displacement field is continuous but there is a jump in the strains, which is denoted by the expression weak discontinuity. Usually in FE methods material interfaces are taken into account by the mesh construction. But if the structure exhibits multiple inclusions of complex geometry it can be advantageous if the interface does not have to be meshed. And when we look at at problems where the interface moves with time, e. g. phase transformation, the mesh-independent modeling of the weak discontinuities naturally holds major advantages. The greatest challenge in the modeling of discontinuities is their incorporation into numerical methods. The focus of the present work is the development, analysis and application of a finite element approach to model mesh-independent discontinuities. The method shall be robust and flexible to be applicable to both, strong and weak discontinuities.

- Computational Configurational Mechanics (2006)
- In contrast to the spatial motion setting, the material motion setting of continuum mechanics is concerned with the response to variations of material placements of particles with respect to the ambient material. The material motion point of view is thus extremely prominent when dealing with defect mechanics to which it has originally been introduced by Eshelby more than half a century ago. Its primary unknown, the material deformation map is governed by the material motion balance of momentum, i.e. the balance of material forces on the material manifold in the sense of Eshelby. Material (configurational) forces are concerned with the response to variations of material placements of 'physical particles' with respect to the ambient material. Opposed to that, the common spatial (mechanical) forces in the sense of Newton are considered as the response to variations of spatial placements of 'physical particles' with respect to the ambient space. Material forces as advocated by Maugin are especially suited for the assessment of general defects as inhomogeneities, interfaces, dislocations and cracks, where the material forces are directly related to the classical J-Integral in fracture mechanics, see also Gross & Seelig. Another classical example of a material - or rather configurational - force is emblematized by the celebrated Peach-Koehler force, see e.g. the discussion in Steinmann. The present work is mainly divided in four parts. In the first part we will introduce the basic notions of the mechanics and numerics of material forces for a quasi-static conservative mechanical system. In this case the internal potential energy density per unit volume characterizes a hyperelastic material behaviour. In the first numerical example we discuss the reliability of the material force method to calculate the vectorial J-integral of a crack in a Ramberg-Osgood type material under mode I loading and superimposed T-stresses. Secondly, we study the direction of the single material force acting as the driving force of a kinked crack in a geometrically nonlinear hyperelastic Neo-Hooke material. In the second part we focus on material forces in the case of geometrically nonlinear thermo-hyperelastic material behaviour. Therefore we adapt the theory and numerics to a transient coupled problem, and elaborate the format of the Eshelby stress tensor as well as the internal material volume forces induced by the gradient of the temperature field. We study numerically the material forces in a bimaterial bar under tension load and the time dependent evolution of material forces in a cracked specimen. The third part discusses the material force method in the case of geometrically nonlinear isotropic continuum damage. The basic equations are similar to those of the thermo-hyperelastic problem but we introduce an alternative numerical scheme, namely an active set search algorithm, to calculate the damage field as an additional degree of freedom. With this at hand, it is an easy task to obtain the gradient of the damage field which induces the internal material volume forces. Numeric examples in this part are a specimen with an elliptic hole with different semi-axis, a center cracked specimen and a cracked disc under pure mode I loading. In the fourth part of this work we elaborate the format of the Eshelby stress tensor and the internal material volume forces for geometrically nonlinear multiplicative elasto-plasticity. Concerning the numerical implementation we restrict ourselves to the case of geometrically linear single slip crystal plasticity and compare here two different numerical methods to calculate the gradient of the internal variable which enters the format of the internal material volume forces. The two numerical methods are firstly, a node point based approach, where the internal variable is addressed as an additional degree of freedom, and secondly, a standard approach where the internal variable is only available at the integration points level. Here a least square projection scheme is enforced to calculate the necessary gradients of this internal variable. As numerical examples we discuss a specimen with an elliptic inclusion and an elliptic hole respectively and, in addition, a crack under pure mode I loading in a material with different slip angles. Here we focus on the comparison of the two different methods to calculate the gradient of the internal variable. As a second class of numerical problems we elaborate and implement a geometrically linear von Mises plasticity with isotropic hardening. Here the necessary gradients of the internal variables are calculated by the already mentioned projection scheme. The results of a crack in a material with different hardening behaviour under various additional T-stresses are given.

- Diffusion, Viscosity, and Thermodynamics in Liquid Systems (2005)
- This thesis aims at an overall improvement of the diffusion coefficient predictions. For this reason the theoretical determination of diffusion, viscosity, and thermodynamics in liquid systems is discussed. Furthermore, the experimental determination of diffusion coefficients is also part of this work. All investigations presented are carried out for organic binary liquid mixtures. Diffusion coefficient data of 9 highly nonideal binary mixtures are reported over the whole concentration range at various temperatures, (25, 30, and 35) °C. All mixtures investigated in a Taylor dispersion apparatus consist of an alcohol (ethanol, 1-propanol, or 1-butanol) dissolved in hexane, cyclohexane, carbon tetrachloride, or toluene. The uncertainty of the reported data is estimated to be within 310-11 m2s-1. To compute the thermodynamic correction factor an excess Gibbs energy model is required. Therefore, the applicability of COSMOSPACE to binary VLE predictions is thoroughly investigated. For this purpose a new method is developed to determine the required molecular parameters such as segment types, areas, volumes, and interaction parameters. So-called sigma profiles form the basis of this approach which describe the screening charge densities appearing on a molecule’s surface. To improve the prediction results a constrained two-parameter fitting strategy is also developed. These approaches are crucial to guarantee the physical significance of the segment parameters. Finally, the prediction quality of this approach is compared to the findings of the Wilson model, UNIQUAC, and the a priori predictive method COSMO-RS for a broad range of thermodynamic situations. The results show that COSMOSPACE yields results of similar quality compared to the Wilson model, while both perform much better than UNIQUAC and COSMO-RS. Since viscosity influences also the diffusion process, a new mixture viscosity model has been developed on the basis of Eyring’s absolute reaction rate theory. The nonidealities of the mixture are accounted for with the thermodynamically consistent COSMOSPACE approach. The required model and component parameters are derived from sigma-profiles, which form the basis of the a priori predictive method COSMO-RS. To improve the model performance two segment parameters are determined from a least-squares analysis to experimental viscosity data, whereas a constraint optimisation procedure is applied. In this way the parameters retain their physical meaning. Finally, the viscosity calculations of this approach are compared to the findings of the Eyring-UNIQUAC model for a broad range of chemical mixtures. These results show that the new Eyring-COSMOSPACE approach is superior to the frequently employed Eyring-UNIQUAC method. Finally, on the basis of Eyring’s absolute reaction rate theory a new model for the Maxwell-Stefan diffusivity has been developed. This model, an extension of the Vignes equation, describes the concentration dependence of the diffusion coefficient in terms of the diffusivities at infinite dilution and an additional excess Gibbs energy contribution. This energy part allows the explicit consideration of thermodynamic nonidealities within the modelling of this transport property. If the same set of interaction parameters, which has been derived from VLE data, is applied for this part and for the thermodynamic correction, a theoretically sound modelling of VLE and diffusion can be achieved. The influence of viscosity and thermodynamics on the model accuracy is thoroughly investigated. For this purpose diffusivities of 85 binary mixtures consisting of alkanes, cycloalkanes, halogenated alkanes, aromatics, ketones, and alcohols are computed. The average relative deviation between experimental data and computed values is approximately 8 % depending on the choice of the gE-model. These results indicate that this model is superior to some widely used methods. In summary, it can be said that the new approach facilitates the prediction of diffusion coefficients. The final equation is mathematically simple, universally applicable, and the prediction quality is as good as other models recently developed without having to worry about additional parameters, like pure component physical property data, self diffusion coefficients, or mixture viscosities. In contrast to many other models, the influence of the mixture viscosity can be omitted. Though a viscosity model is not required in the prediction of diffusion coefficients with the new equation, the models presented in this work allow a consistent modelling approach of diffusion, viscosity, and thermodynamics in liquid systems.

- Computational Modeling of Domain Switching Effects in Piezoceramic Materials -- A Micro-Macro Mechanical Approach (2005)
- Within the last decades, a remarkable development in materials science took place -- nowadays, materials are not only constructed for the use of inert structures but rather designed for certain predefined functions. This innovation was accompanied with the appearance of smart materials with reliable recognition, discrimination and capability of action as well as reaction. Even though ferroelectric materials serve smartly in real applications, they also possess several restrictions at high performance usage. The behavior of these materials is almost linear under the action of low electric fields or low mechanical stresses, but exhibits strong non-linear response under high electric fields or mechanical stresses. High electromechanical loading conditions result in a change of the spontaneous polarization direction with respect to individual domains, which is commonly referred to as domain switching. The aim of the present work is to develop a three-dimensional coupled finite element model, to study the rate-independent and rate-dependent behavior of piezoelectric materials including domain switching based on a micromechanical approach. The proposed model is first elaborated within a two-dimensional finite element setting for piezoelectric materials. Subsequently, the developed two-dimensional model is extended to the three-dimensional case. This work starts with developing a micromechanical model for ferroelectric materials. Ferroelectric materials exhibit ferroelectric domain switching, which refers to the reorientation of domains and occurs under purely electrical loading. For the simulation, a bulk piezoceramic material is considered and each grain is represented by one finite element. In reality, the grains in the bulk ceramics material are randomly oriented. This property is taken into account by applying random orientation as well as uniform distribution for individual elements. Poly-crystalline ferroelectric materials at un-poled virgin state can consequently be characterized by randomly oriented polarization vectors. Energy reduction of individual domains is adopted as a criterion for the initiation of domain switching processes. The macroscopic response of the bulk material is predicted by classical volume-averaging techniques. In general, domain switching does not only depend on external loads but also on neighboring grains, which is commonly denoted as the grain boundary effect. These effects are incorporated into the developed framework via a phenomenologically motivated probabilistic approach by relating the actual energy level to a critical energy level. Subsequently, the order of the chosen polynomial function is optimized so that simulations nicely match measured data. A rate-dependent polarization framework is proposed, which is applied to cyclic electrical loading at various frequencies. The reduction in free energy of a grain is used as a criterion for the onset of the domain switching processes. Nucleation in new grains and propagation of the domain walls during domain switching is modeled by a linear kinetics theory. The simulated results show that for increasing loading frequency the macroscopic coercive field is also increasing and the remanent polarization increases at lower loading amplitudes. The second part of this work is focused on ferroelastic domain switching, which refers to the reorientation of domains under purely mechanical loading. Under sufficiently high mechanical loading, however, the strain directions within single domains reorient with respect to the applied loading direction. The reduction in free energy of a grain is used as a criterion for the domain switching process. The macroscopic response of the bulk material is computed for the hysteresis curve (stress vs strain) whereby uni-axial and quasi-static loading conditions are applied on the bulk material specimen. Grain boundary effects are addressed by incorporating the developed probabilistic approach into this framework and the order of the polynomial function is optimized so that simulations match measured data. Rate dependent domain switching effects are captured for various frequencies and mechanical loading amplitudes by means of the developed volume fraction concept which relates the particular time interval to the switching portion. The final part of this work deals with ferroelectric and ferroelastic domain switching and refers to the reorientation of domains under coupled electromechanical loading. If this free energy for combined electromechanical loading exceeds the critical energy barrier elements are allowed to switch. Firstly, hysteresis and butterfly curves under purely electrical loading are discussed. Secondly, additional mechanical loads in axial and lateral directions are applied to the specimen. The simulated results show that an increasing compressive stress results in enlarged domain switching ranges and that the hysteresis and butterfly curves flatten at higher mechanical loading levels.

- Recycling of Ground Tyre Rubber and Polyolefin Wastes by Producing Thermoplastic Elastomers (2005)
- This thesis deals with the development of thermoplastic polyolefin elastomers using recycled polyolefins and ground tyre rubber (GTR). The disposal of worn tyres and their economic recycling mean a great challenge nowadays. Material recycling is a preferred way in Europa owing to legislative actions and ecological arguments. This first step with worn tyres is already done in this direc-tion as GTR is available in different fractions in guaranteed quality. As the traditional applications of GTR are saturated, there is a great demand for new, value-added products containing GTR. So, the objective of this work was to convert GTR by reac-tive blending with polyolefins into thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) of suitable me-chanical and rheological properties. It has been established that bituminous reclamation of GTR prior to extrusion melt compounding with polyolefins is a promising way of TPE production. By this way the sol-content (acetone soluble fraction) of the GTR increases and the GTR particles can be better incorporated in the corresponding polyolefin matrix. The adhesion be-tween GTR and matrix is given by molecular intermingling in the resulting interphase. GTR particles of various production and mean particle size were involved in this study. As polyolefins recycled low-density polyethylene (LDPE), recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP) were selected. First, the opti-mum conditions for the GTR reclamation in bitumen were established (160 °C < T < 180 °C; time ca. 4 hours). Polyolefin based TPEs were produced after GTR reclamation in extrusion compounding. Their mechanical (tensile behaviour, set properties), thermal (dynamic-mechanical thermal analysis, differential scanning calorimetry) and rheological properties (both in low- and high-shear rates ) were determined. The PE-based blends contained an ethylene/propylene/diene (EPDM) rubber as compatibilizer and their composition was as follows: PE/EPDM/GTR:bitumen = 50/25/25:25. The selected TPEs met the most important criterion, i.e. elongation at break > 100 %; compression set < 50%. The LDPE-based TPE (TPE(LDPE)) showed better me-chanical performance compared to the TPE(HDPE). This was assigned to the higher crystallinity of the HDPE. The PP-based blends of the compositions PP/(GTR-bitumen) 50/50 and 25/75, whereby the ratio of GTR/bitumen was 60/40, outperformed those containing non-reclaimed GTR. The related blends showed also a better compatibility with a PP-based commercial thermoplastic dynamic vulcanizate (TDV). Surprisingly, the mean particle size of the GTR, varied between < 0.2 and 0.4-0.7 mm, had a small effect on the mechanical properties, however somewhat larger for the rheological behaviour of the TPEs produced.

- On Aspects of Mixed Continuum-Atomistic Material Modelling (2004)
- In the present work, various aspects of the mixed continuum-atomistic modelling of materials are studied, most of which are related to the problems arising due to a development of microstructures during the transition from an elastic to plastic description within the framework of continuum-atomistics. By virtue of the so-called Cauchy-Born hypothesis, which is an essential part of the continuum-atomistics, a localization criterion has been derived in terms of the loss of infinitesimal rank-one convexity of the strain energy density. According to this criterion, a numerical yield condition has been computed for two different interatomic energy functions. Therewith, the range of the Cauchy-Born rule validity has been defined, since the strain energy density remains quasiconvex only within the computed yield surface. To provide a possibility to continue the simulation of material response after the loss of quasiconvexity, a relaxation procedure proposed by Tadmor et al. leading necessarily to the development of microstructures has been used. Thereby, various notions of convexity have been overviewed in details. Alternatively to the above mentioned criterion, a stability criterion has been applied to detect the critical deformation. For the study in the postcritical region, the path-change procedure proposed by Wagner and Wriggers has been adapted for the continuum-atomistic and modified. To capture the deformation inhomogeneity arising due to the relaxation, the Cauchy-Born hypothesis has been extended by assumption that it represents only the 1st term in the Taylor's series expansion of the deformation map. The introduction of the 2nd, quadratic term results in the higher-order materials theory. Based on a simple computational example, the relevance of this theory in the postcritical region has been shown. For all simulations including the finite element examples, the development tool MATLAB 6.5 has been used.