- Bejan, A. and Lorente, S. and Wang, K.-M., Networks of channels for self-healing composite materials,
Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 100 no. 3
pp. 033528 - [1.2218768] .
(last updated on 2007/04/06)
This is a fundamental study of how to vascularize a self-healing composite material so that healing fluid reaches all the crack sites that may occur randomly through the material. The network of channels is built into the material and is filled with pressurized healing fluid. When a crack forms, the pressure drops at the crack site and fluid flows from the network into the crack. The objective is to discover the network configuration that is capable of delivering fluid to all the cracks the fastest. The crack site dimension and the total volume of the channels are fixed. It is argued that the network must be configured as a grid and not as a tree. Two classes of grids are considered and optimized: (i) grids with one channel diameter and regular polygonal loops (square, triangle, hexagon) and (ii) grids with two channel sizes. The best architecture of type (i) is the grid with triangular loops. The best architecture of type (ii) has a particular (optimal) ratio of diameters that departs from 1 as the crack length scale becomes smaller than the global scale of the vascularized structure from which the crack draws its healing fluid. The optimization of the ratio of channel diameters cuts in half the time of fluid delivery to the crack. © 2006 American Institute of Physics.
Fluid mechanics;Cracks;Optimization;Pressure effects;