This work reports anisotropic water transport in a polymer composite consisting of an epoxy matrix reinforced with aligned triangular bars made of vinyl ester. By gravimetric experiments, water diffusion in resin and polymer composites were characterized. Parameters for Fickian diffusion and polymer relaxation models were determined by least-square curve fitting to the experimental data. Diffusion parameters of epoxy and vinyl ester resin were used as input during development of finite element (FE) model of polymer composite. Through transient FE diffusion analysis, anisotropic water transport in thickness direction of the polymer composite was numerically predicted and validated against experimental results. The case of using impermeable triangular bars was also numerically simulated. The diffusivity of reinforced aligned triangular bars was confirmed to affect anisotropic water transport in the composite. The results of this work suggest possible use of polymer composite for barrier and fluid removal applications.
Volume 42 | Issue 3