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Materials (Basel). 2020 Jan 16;13(2). pii: E421. doi: 10.3390/ma13020421.

Simulation of Thermal Behavior of Glass Fiber/Phenolic Composites Exposed to Heat Flux on One Side.

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School of Mechatronical Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China.
College of Airworthiness, Civil Aviation University of China, Tianjin 300300, China.
Centre of Aeronautics, Cranfield University, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, UK.


A 3D thermal response model is developed to evaluate the thermal behavior of glass fiber/phenolic composite exposed to heat flux on one side. The model is built upon heat transfer and energy conservation equations in which the heat transfer is in the form of anisotropic heat conduction, absorption by matrix decomposition, and diffusion of gas. Arrhenius equation is used to characterize the pyrolysis reaction of the materials. The diffusion equation for the decomposition gas is included for mass conservation. The temperature, density, decomposition degree, and rate are extracted to analyze the process of material decomposition, which is implemented by using the UMATHT(User subroutine to define a material's thermal behavior ) and USDFLD(User subroutine to redefine field variables) subroutines via ABAQUS code. By comparing the analysis results with experimental data, it is found that the model is valid to simulate the evolution of a glass fiber/phenolic composite exposed to heat flux from one side. The comparison also shows that longer time is taken to complete the pyrolysis reaction with increasing depth for materials from the numerical simulation, and the char region and the pyrolysis reaction region enlarge further with increasing time. Furthermore, the decomposition degree and temperature are correlated with depths, as well as the peak value of decomposition rate and the time to reach the peak value.


decomposition; finite element analysis; glass fiber/phenolic composite; thermal behavior

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