Combined experimental/numerical investigation of directional moisture diffusion in glass/epoxy composites

I. B.C.M. Rocha, S Raijmaekers, F. P. van der Meer, R. P.L. Nijssen, H. R. Fischer, L. J. Sluys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
31 Downloads (Pure)


A combined experimental and numerical investigation is conducted on the anisotropic water diffusion behaviour of unidirectional glass/epoxy composites. Experimental diffusivity values are obtained by immersing thin material slices for each of its planes of orthotropy extracted from a thick composite panel and interphase measurements are performed using thermal analysis. In order to elucidate the observed anisotropy, the diffusion process is modelled at the microscale using a representative volume element (RVE) of the material with random fibre distribution. Water concentration gradients are applied to the micromodel and a homogenisation procedure is used to retrieve the macroscopic diffusivity coefficients. The influence of the interphase around the fibres on the diffusion process is modelled by making the matrix diffusivity a function of the distance to the nearest fibre using a level set field. The models are used to fit the experimental data and test a number of hypotheses that may explain the observed anisotropy. The effect of fibres acting as barriers for water movement is found to partially explain the observed transverse diffusivity. However, a fit is only obtained by allowing faster diffusivity at the interphase. In the longitudinal direction, a fit can only be found by allowing for orthotropic interphase diffusivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-24
Number of pages9
JournalComposites Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2017


  • Anisotropy
  • Fibre/matrix interphase
  • Homogenisation
  • Water diffusion

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Combined experimental/numerical investigation of directional moisture diffusion in glass/epoxy composites'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this