Eric Jankowski, Ph.D.
Composites of carbon fibers embedded in thermoplastic matrices have excellent mechanical properties and low density, which are ideal for aerospace applications. Thermoplastics are exciting matrix materials because their constituent polymer chains intertwine when heated, enabling large structures to be "welded" together from smaller, mass-produced parts. We develop computational tools for predicting the strength of welded thermoplastics using molecular dynamics. Using and developing free and open source software we create workflows for initializing and observing the dynamics of a welded interface. We develop coarse-grained models of the polymers to access longer timescales and inform these using machine learning techniques. We summarize simulation performance on NVIDIA GPUs and describe initial entanglement results enabled with our new infrastructure.
This research was partially supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) under the University Leadership Initiative program; grant number 80NSSC20M0165.
Jones, Chris and Barrett, Rainier, "Investigation of Welded Thermoplastic-Carbon-Fiber Composites Using Molecular Dynamics" (2021). Research Computing Days 2021. 1.