Purpose – Fibrous porous media have a wide variety of applications in insulation, filtration, acoustics, sensing, and actuation. To design such materials, computational modeling methods are needed to engineer the properties systematically. There is a lack of efficient approaches to build and modify those complex structures in computers. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach – In this paper, the authors generalize a previously developed periodic surface (PS) model so that the detailed shapes of fibers in porous media can be modeled. Because of its periodic and implicit nature, the generalized PS model is able to efficiently construct the three-dimensional representative volume element (RVE) of randomly distributed fibers. A physics-based empirical force field method is also developed to model the fiber bending and deformation. Findings – Integrated with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis tools, the proposed approach enables simulation-based design of fibrous porous media. Research limitations/implications – In the future, the authors will investigate robust approaches to export meshes of PS models directly to CFD simulation tools and develop geometric modeling methods for composite materials that include both fibers and resin. Originality/value – The proposed geometric modeling method with implicit surfaces to represent fibers is unique in its capability of modeling bent and deformed fibers in a RVE and supporting design parameter-based modification for global configuration change for the purpose of macroscopic transport property analysis.
Engineering Computations – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 2, 2015
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