Evaluation of a simple finite element method for the calculation of effective electrical conductivity of compression moulded polymer--graphite composites

Scocchi, Giulio and Ortona, Alberto and Grossi, Loris and Bianchi, Giovanni and D'Angelo, Claudio and Leidi, Tiziano and Gilardi, Raffaele (2013) Evaluation of a simple finite element method for the calculation of effective electrical conductivity of compression moulded polymer--graphite composites. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 48. pp. 15-25. ISSN 1359-835X

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Abstract

Finite element (FE) techniques can be used for the calculation of the effective properties of random heterogeneous materials, the required input simply consisting of phase properties and representative three-dimensional models of material microstructure. This approach has been widely exploited in recent years, although limited by the considerable amount of computational power required to obtain statistically accurate results. By using simple microstructural models of compression moulded polymer–graphite composites and a FE code modified for execution on graphical processing units, we show that reliable predictions of electrical properties for these materials can now be obtained in a reasonable computational time and with acceptable accuracy and precision. By using an approach based on design of experiments, we also perform a set of simulations aimed at determining the microstructural details which are most significant for the effective properties of these materials.

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