A fully coupled diffusion-reaction scheme for moisture sorption-desorption in an anhydride-cured epoxy resin
KAUST DepartmentPhysical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) Division
Mechanical Engineering Program
Composite and Heterogeneous Material Analysis and Simulation Laboratory (COHMAS)
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AbstractThermoset materials frequently display non-classical moisture sorption behaviors. In this paper, we investigated this issue from an experimental point of view as well as in terms of modeling the water transport. We used the gravimetric technique to monitor water uptake by epoxy samples, with several thicknesses exposed to different levels of humidity during absorption and desorption tests. Our results revealed that the polymer displays a two-stage behavior with a residual amount of water that is desorbed progressively. We proposed a phenomenological reaction-diffusion scheme to describe this behavior. The model describes water transport as a competition between diffusion and the reaction, during which the local diffusivity and solubility depend on the local advancement of the reaction. We then implemented our model using COMSOL Multiphysics and identified it using a MATLAB-COMSOL optimization tool and the experimental data. We discussed the relation between the hydrophilicity of the product of the reaction and the diffusion behavior. We examined the reaction-induced modification of the water concentration field. It is worth noting that part of the phenomenology can be explained by the presence of hydrolyzable groups. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.