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The production of a desired product needs an effective use of the experimental model. The present study proposes an extreme learning machine (ELM) and a support vector machine (SVM) integrated with the response surface methodology (RSM) to solve the complexity in optimization and prediction of the ethyl ester and methyl ester production process. The novel hybrid models of ELM-RSM and ELM-SVM are further used as a case study to estimate the yield of methyl and ethyl esters through a trans-esterification process from waste cooking oil (WCO) based on American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards. The results of the prediction phase were also compared with artificial neural networks (ANNs) and adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS), which were recently developed by the second author of this study. Based on the results, an ELM with a correlation coefficient of 0.9815 and 0.9863 for methyl and ethyl esters, respectively, had a high estimation capability compared with that for SVM, ANNs, and ANFIS. Accordingly, the maximum production yield was obtained in the case of using ELM-RSM of 96.86% for ethyl ester at a temperature of 68.48 °C, a catalyst value of 1.15 wt. %, mixing intensity of 650.07 rpm, and an alcohol to oil molar ratio (A/O) of 5.77; for methyl ester, the production yield was 98.46% at a temperature of 67.62 °C, a catalyst value of 1.1 wt. %, mixing intensity of 709.42 rpm, and an A/O of 6.09. Therefore, ELM-RSM increased the production yield by 3.6% for ethyl ester and 3.1% for methyl ester, compared with those for the experimental data.

Tensile strain and compress strain can greatly affect the thermal conductivity of graphene nanoribbons (GNRs). However, the effect of GNRs under shear strain, which is also one of the main strain effect, has not been studied systematically yet. In this work, we employ reverse nonequilibrium molecular dynamics (RNEMD) to the systematical study of the thermal conductivity of GNRs (with model size of 4 nm × 15 nm) under the shear strain. Our studies show that the thermal conductivity of GNRs is not sensitive to the shear strain, and the thermal conductivity decreases only 12–16% before the pristine structure is broken. Furthermore, the phonon frequency and the change of the micro-structure of GNRs, such as band angel and bond length, are analyzed to explore the tendency of thermal conductivity. The results show that the main influence of shear strain is on the in-plane phonon density of states (PDOS), whose G band (higher frequency peaks) moved to the low frequency, thus the thermal conductivity is decreased. The unique thermal properties of GNRs under shear strains suggest their great potentials for graphene nanodevices and great potentials in the thermal managements and thermoelectric applications.

Safety operation of important civil structures such as bridges can be estimated by using fracture analysis. Since the analytical methods are not capable of solving many complicated engineering problems, numerical methods have been increasingly adopted. In this paper, a part of isotropic material which contains a crack is considered as a partial model and the proposed model quality is evaluated. EXtended IsoGeometric Analysis (XIGA) is a new developed numerical approach [1, 2] which benefits from advantages of its origins: eXtended Finite Element Method (XFEM) and IsoGeometric Analysis (IGA). It is capable of simulating crack propagation problems with no remeshing necessity and capturing singular field at the crack tip by using the crack tip enrichment functions. Also, exact representation of geometry is possible using only few elements. XIGA has also been successfully applied for fracture analysis of cracked orthotropic bodies [3] and for simulation of curved cracks [4]. XIGA applies NURBS functions for both geometry description and solution field approximation. The drawback of NURBS functions is that local refinement cannot be defined regarding that it is based on tensorproduct constructs unless multiple patches are used which has also some limitations. In this contribution, the XIGA is further developed to make the local refinement feasible by using Tspline basis functions. Adopting a recovery based error estimator in the proposed approach for evaluation of the model quality and performing the adaptive processes is in progress. Finally, some numerical examples with available analytical solutions are investigated by the developed scheme.

The upper limit of the thermal conductivity and the mechanical strength are predicted for the polyethylene chain, by performing the ab initio calculation and applying the quantum mechanical non-equilibrium Green’s function approach. Specially, there are two main findings from our calculation: (1) the thermal conductivity can reach a high value of 310 Wm−1 K−1 in a 100 nm polyethylene chain at room temperature and the thermal conductivity increases with the length of the chain; (2) the Young’s modulus in the polyethylene chain is as high as 374.5 GPa, and the polyethylene chain can sustain 32.85%±0.05% (ultimate) strain before undergoing structural phase transition into gaseous ethylene.

This paper presents a novel numerical procedure based on the framework of isogeometric analysis for static, free vibration, and buckling analysis of laminated composite plates using the first-order shear deformation theory. The isogeometric approach utilizes non-uniform rational B-splines to implement for the quadratic, cubic, and quartic elements. Shear locking problem still exists in the stiffness formulation, and hence, it can be significantly alleviated by a stabilization technique. Several numerical examples are presented to show the performance of the method, and the results obtained are compared with other available ones.

We perform both classical molecular dynamics simulations and beam model calculations to investigate the Young's modulus of kinked silicon nanowires (KSiNWs). The Young's modulus is found to be highly sensitive to the arm length of the kink and is essentially inversely proportional to the arm length. The mechanism underlying the size dependence is found to be the interplay between the kink angle potential and the arm length potential, where we obtain an analytic relationship between the Young's modulus and the arm length of the KSiNW. Our results provide insight into the application of this novel building block in nanomechanical devices.

The point collocation method of finite spheres (PCMFS) is used to model the hyperelastic response of soft biological tissue in real time within the framework of virtual surgery simulation. The proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) model order reduction (MOR) technique was used to achieve reduced-order model of the problem, minimizing computational cost. The PCMFS is a physics-based meshfree numerical technique for real-time simulation of surgical procedures where the approximation functions are applied directly on the strong form of the boundary value problem without the need for integration, increasing computational efficiency. Since computational speed has a significant role in simulation of surgical procedures, the proposed technique was able to model realistic nonlinear behavior of organs in real time. Numerical results are shown to demonstrate the effectiveness of the new methodology through a comparison between full and reduced analyses for several nonlinear problems. It is shown that the proposed technique was able to achieve good agreement with the full model; moreover, the computational and data storage costs were significantly reduced.

A phantom-node method is developed for three-node shell elements to describe cracks. This method can treat arbitrary cracks independently of the mesh. The crack may cut elements completely or partially. Elements are overlapped on the position of the crack, and they are partially integrated to implement the discontinuous displacement across the crack. To consider the element containing a crack tip, a new kinematical relation between the overlapped elements is developed. There is no enrichment function for the discontinuous displacement field. Several numerical examples are presented to illustrate the proposed method.

Paraffin Nanocomposites for Heat Management of Lithium-Ion Batteries: A Computational Investigation
(2016)

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are currently considered as vital components for advances in mobile technologies such as those in communications and transport. Nonetheless, Li-ion batteries suffer from temperature rises which sometimes lead to operational damages or may even cause fire. An appropriate solution to control the temperature changes during the operation of Li-ion batteries is to embed batteries inside a paraffin matrix to absorb and dissipate heat. In the present work, we aimed to investigate the possibility of making paraffin nanocomposites for better heat management of a Li-ion battery pack. To fulfill this aim, heat generation during a battery charging/discharging cycles was simulated using Newman’s well established electrochemical pseudo-2D model. We couple this model to a 3D heat transfer model to predict the temperature evolution during the battery operation. In the later model, we considered different paraffin nanocomposites structures made by the addition of graphene, carbon nanotubes, and fullerene by assuming the same thermal conductivity for all fillers. This way, our results mainly correlate with the geometry of the fillers. Our results assess the degree of enhancement in heat dissipation of Li-ion batteries through the use of paraffin nanocomposites. Our results may be used as a guide for experimental set-ups to improve the heat management of Li-ion batteries.

We investigate the thermal conductivity in the armchair and zigzag MoS2 nanoribbons, by combining the non-equilibrium Green's function approach and the first-principles method. A strong orientation dependence is observed in the thermal conductivity. Particularly, the thermal conductivity for the armchair MoS2 nanoribbon is about 673.6 Wm−1 K−1 in the armchair nanoribbon, and 841.1 Wm−1 K−1 in the zigzag nanoribbon at room temperature. By calculating the Caroli transmission, we disclose the underlying mechanism for this strong orientation dependence to be the fewer phonon transport channels in the armchair MoS2 nanoribbon in the frequency range of [150, 200] cm−1. Through the scaling of the phonon dispersion, we further illustrate that the thermal conductivity calculated for the MoS2 nanoribbon is esentially in consistent with the superior thermal conductivity found for graphene.

Meshfree methods (MMs) such as the element free Galerkin (EFG)method have gained popularity because of some advantages over other numerical methods such as the finite element method (FEM). A group of problems that have attracted a great deal of attention from the EFG method community includes the treatment of large deformations and dealing with strong discontinuities such as cracks. One efficient solution to model cracks is adding special enrichment functions to the standard shape functions such as extended FEM, within the FEM context, and the cracking particles method, based on EFG method. It is well known that explicit time integration in dynamic applications is conditionally stable. Furthermore, in enriched methods, the critical time step may tend to very small values leading to computationally expensive simulations. In this work, we study the stability of enriched MMs and propose two mass-lumping strategies. Then we show that the critical time step for enriched MMs based on lumped mass matrices is of the same order as the critical time step of MMs without enrichment. Moreover, we show that, in contrast to extended FEM, even with a consistent mass matrix, the critical time step does not vanish even when the crack directly crosses a node.

In this study, an application of evolutionary multi-objective optimization algorithms on the optimization of sandwich structures is presented. The solution strategy is known as Elitist Non-Dominated Sorting Evolution Strategy (ENSES) wherein Evolution Strategies (ES) as Evolutionary Algorithm (EA) in the elitist Non-dominated Sorting Genetic algorithm (NSGA-II) procedure. Evolutionary algorithm seems a compatible approach to resolve multi-objective optimization problems because it is inspired by natural evolution, which closely linked to Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques and elitism has shown an important factor for improving evolutionary multi-objective search. In order to evaluate the notion of performance by ENSES, the well-known study case of sandwich structures are reconsidered. For Case 1, the goals of the multi-objective optimization are minimization of the deflection and the weight of the sandwich structures. The length, the core and skin thicknesses are the design variables of Case 1. For Case 2, the objective functions are the fabrication cost, the beam weight and the end deflection of the sandwich structures. There are four design variables i.e., the weld height, the weld length, the beam depth and the beam width in Case 2. Numerical results are presented in terms of Paretooptimal solutions for both evaluated cases.

We conducted extensive molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the thermal conductivity of polycrystalline hexagonal boron-nitride (h-BN) films. To this aim, we constructed large atomistic models of polycrystalline h-BN sheets with random and uniform grain configuration. By performing equilibrium molecular dynamics (EMD) simulations, we investigated the influence of the average grain size on the thermal conductivity of polycrystalline h-BN films at various temperatures. Using the EMD results, we constructed finite element models of polycrystalline h-BN sheets to probe the thermal conductivity of samples with larger grain sizes. Our multiscale investigations not only provide a general viewpoint regarding the heat conduction in h-BN films but also propose that polycrystalline h-BN sheets present high thermal conductivity comparable to monocrystalline sheets.

Isogeometric finite element analysis has become a powerful alternative to standard finite elements due to their flexibility in handling complex geometries. One major drawback of NURBS based isogeometric finite elements is their less effectiveness of local refinement. In this study, we present an alternative to NURBS based isogeometric finite elements that allow for local refinement. The idea is based on polynomial splines and exploits the flexibility of T-meshes for local refinement. The shape functions satisfy important properties such as non-negativity, local support and partition of unity. We will demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed method by two numerical examples.

This work describes an algorithm and corresponding software for incorporating general nonlinear multiple-point equality constraints in a implicit sparse direct solver. It is shown that direct addressing of sparse matrices is possible in general circumstances, circumventing the traditional linear or binary search for introducing (generalized) constituents to a sparse matrix. Nested and arbitrarily interconnected multiple-point constraints are introduced by processing of multiplicative constituents with a built-in topological ordering of the resulting directed graph. A classification of discretization methods is performed and some re-classified problems are described and solved under this proposed perspective. The dependence relations between solution methods, algorithms and constituents becomes apparent. Fracture algorithms can be naturally casted in this framework. Solutions based on control equations are also directly incorporated as equality constraints. We show that arbitrary constituents can be used as long as the resulting directed graph is acyclic. It is also shown that graph partitions and orderings should be performed in the innermost part of the algorithm, a fact with some peculiar consequences. The core of our implicit code is described, specifically new algorithms for direct access of sparse matrices (by means of the clique structure) and general constituent processing. It is demonstrated that the graph structure of the second derivatives of the equality constraints are cliques (or pseudo-elements) and are naturally included as such. A complete algorithm is presented which allows a complete automation of equality constraints, avoiding the need of pre-sorting. Verification applications in four distinct areas are shown: single and multiple rigid body dynamics, solution control and computational fracture.

This paper presents a strain smoothing procedure for the extended finite element method (XFEM). The resulting “edge-based” smoothed extended finite element method (ESm-XFEM) is tailored to linear elastic fracture mechanics and, in this context, to outperform the standard XFEM. In the XFEM, the displacement-based approximation is enriched by the Heaviside and asymptotic crack tip functions using the framework of partition of unity. This eliminates the need for the mesh alignment with the crack and re-meshing, as the crack evolves. Edge-based smoothing (ES) relies on a generalized smoothing operation over smoothing domains associated with edges of simplex meshes, and produces a softening effect leading to a close-to-exact stiffness, “super-convergence” and “ultra-accurate” solutions. The present method takes advantage of both the ES-FEM and the XFEM. Thanks to the use of strain smoothing, the subdivision of elements intersected by discontinuities and of integrating the (singular) derivatives of the approximation functions is suppressed via transforming interior integration into boundary integration. Numerical examples show that the proposed method improves significantly the accuracy of stress intensity factors and achieves a near optimal convergence rate in the energy norm even without geometrical enrichment or blending correction.

We present an extended finite element formulation for dynamic fracture of piezo-electric materials. The method is developed in the context of linear elastic fracture mechanics. It is applied to mode I and mixed mode-fracture for quasi-steady cracks. An implicit time integration scheme is exploited. The results are compared to results obtained with the boundary element method and show excellent agreement.

The node moving and multistage node enrichment adaptive refinement procedures are extended in mixed discrete least squares meshless (MDLSM) method for efficient analysis of elasticity problems. In the formulation of MDLSM method, mixed formulation is accepted to avoid second-order differentiation of shape functions and to obtain displacements and stresses simultaneously. In the refinement procedures, a robust error estimator based on the value of the least square residuals functional of the governing differential equations and its boundaries at nodal points is used which is inherently available from the MDLSM formulation and can efficiently identify the zones with higher numerical errors. The results are compared with the refinement procedures in the irreducible formulation of discrete least squares meshless (DLSM) method and show the accuracy and efficiency of the proposed procedures. Also, the comparison of the error norms and convergence rate show the fidelity of the proposed adaptive refinement procedures in the MDLSM method.

This paper presents a novel numerical procedure for computing limit and shakedown loads of structures using a node-based smoothed FEM in combination with a primal–dual algorithm. An associated primal–dual form based on the von Mises yield criterion is adopted. The primal-dual algorithm together with a Newton-like iteration are then used to solve this associated primal–dual form to determine simultaneously both approximate upper and quasi-lower bounds of the plastic collapse limit and the shakedown limit. The present formulation uses only linear approximations and its implementation into finite element programs is quite simple. Several numerical examples are given to show the reliability, accuracy, and generality of the present formulation compared with other available methods.

This paper presents several aspects of characterization of welding heat source parameters in Goldak’s double ellipsoidal model using Sysweld simulation of welding of two overlapping beads on a substrate steel plate. The overlap percentages ranged from 40% to 80% in increments of 10%. The new material properties of the fused metal were characterized using Weldware and their continuous cooling transformation curves. The convective and radiative heat transfer coefficients as well as the cooling time t8/5 were estimated using numerical formulations from relevant standards. The effects of the simulation geometry and mesh discretization were evaluated in terms of the factor F provided in Sysweld. Eventually, the parameters of Goldak’s double ellipsoidal heat source model were determined for the welding simulation of overlapping beads on the plate and the simulated bead geometry, extent of the molten pool and the HAZ were compared with the macrographs of cross-sections of the experimental weldments. The results showed excellent matching, thus verifying this methodology for determination of welding heat source parameters.

The concept of isogeometric analysis, where functions that are used to describe geometry in CAD software are used to approximate the unknown fields in numerical simulations, has received great attention in recent years. The method has the potential to have profound impact on engineering design, since the task of meshing, which in some cases can add significant overhead, has been circumvented. Much of the research effort has been focused on finite element implementations of the isogeometric concept, but at present, little has been seen on the application to the Boundary Element Method. The current paper proposes an Isogeometric Boundary Element Method (BEM), which we term IGABEM, applied to two-dimensional elastostatic problems using Non-Uniform Rational B-Splines (NURBS). We find it is a natural fit with the isogeometric concept since both the NURBS approximation and BEM deal with quantities entirely on the boundary. The method is verified against analytical solutions where it is seen that superior accuracies are achieved over a conventional quadratic isoparametric BEM implementation.

Biodiesel, as the main alternative fuel to diesel fuel which is produced from renewable and available resources, improves the engine emissions during combustion in diesel engines. In this study, the biodiesel is produced initially from waste cooking oil (WCO). The fuel samples are applied in a diesel engine and the engine performance has been considered from the viewpoint of exergy and energy approaches. Engine tests are performed at a constant 1500 rpm speed with various loads and fuel samples. The obtained experimental data are also applied to develop an artificial neural network (ANN) model. Response surface methodology (RSM) is employed to optimize the exergy and energy efficiencies. Based on the results of the energy analysis, optimal engine performance is obtained at 80% of full load in presence of B10 and B20 fuels. However, based on the exergy analysis results, optimal engine performance is obtained at 80% of full load in presence of B90 and B100 fuels. The optimum values of exergy and energy efficiencies are in the range of 25–30% of full load, which is the same as the calculated range obtained from mathematical modeling.

An analytical molecular mechanics model for the elastic properties of crystalline polyethylene
(2012)

We present an analytical model to relate the elastic properties of crystalline polyethylene based on a molecular mechanics approach. Along the polymer chains direction, the united-atom (UA) CH2-CH2 bond stretching, angle bending potentials are replaced with equivalent Euler-Bernoulli beams. Between any two polymer chains, the explicit formulae are derived for the van der Waals interaction represented by the linear springs of different stiffness. Then, the nine independent elastic constants are evaluated systematically using the formulae. The analytical model is finally validated by present united-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and against available all-atom molecular dynamics results in the literature. The established analytical model provides an efficient route for mechanical characterization of crystalline polymers and related materials.