Multiscale Modelling of Environmental Degradation—First Steps
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Fibre-reinforced plastics are praised for their good corrosion resistance. However, when this resistance needs to be documented for safety-critical applications extensive and time-consuming test programmes are needed. A better quantitative understanding of the fundamental mechanisms behind degradation should help to reduce the testing effort. A multiscale approach for modelling degradation in water and hydrocarbons is described. The environmental degradation happens on the scale of the constituent materials: fibres, matrix and sizing (interface). Local concentration profiles of the fluid inside the material need to be known to predict degradation. The global engineering properties are then calculated from the constituents using finite element analysis and homogenisation. Describing degradation with the multiscale approach is a promising method for reducing the current test effort. Much more work is needed to create enough confidence in the models that then can be used for designing real components. The first steps are described here showing the models and how they can be connected.