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To explore the flow characteristics of healing agent leaving a vascular network and infusing a damage site within a fibre reinforced polymer composite, a numerical model of healing agent flow from an orifice has been developed using smoothed particle hydrodynamics. As an initial validation the discharge coefficient for low Reynolds number flow from a cylindrical tank is calculated numerically, using two different viscosity formulations, and compared to existing experimental data. Results of this comparison are very favourable; the model is able to reproduce experimental results for the discharge coefficient in the high Reynolds number limit, together with the power-law behaviour for low Reynolds numbers. Results are also presented for a representative delamination geometry showing healing fluid behaviour and fraction filled inside the delamination for a variety of fluid viscosities. This work provides the foundations for the vascular self-healing community in calculating not only the flow rate through the network, but also, by simulating a representative damage site, the final location of the healing fluid within the damage site in order to assess the improvement in local and global mechanical properties and thus healing efficiency.
Bibliographical noteAccepted 4 December 2014, E-pub ahead of print 6 Feb 2015
- self-healing composites
- computational modelling
- smoothed particle hydrodynamics