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Identification of flaws in structures is a critical element in the management of maintenance and quality assurance processes in engineering. Nondestructive testing (NDT) techniques based on a wide range of physical principles have been developed and are used in common practice for structural health monitoring. However, basic NDT techniques are usually limited in their ability to provide the accurate information on locations, dimensions and shapes of flaws. One alternative to extract additional information from the results of NDT is to append it with a computational model that provides detailed analysis of the physical process involved and enables the accurate identification of the flaw parameters. The aim here is to develop the strategies to uniquely identify cracks in two-dimensional 2D) structures under dynamic loadings.
A local NDT technique combined eXtended Finite Element Method (XFEM) with dynamic loading in order to identify the cracks in the structures quickly and accurately is developed in this dissertation. The Newmark-b time integration method with Rayleigh damping is used for the time integration. We apply Nelder-Mead (NM)and Quasi-Newton (QN) methods for identifying the crack tip in plate. The inverse problem is solved iteratively, in which XFEM is used for solving the forward problem in each iteration. For a timeharmonic excitation with a single frequency and a short-duration signal measured along part of the external boundary, the crack is detected through the solution of an inverse time-dependent problem. Compared to the static load, we show that the dynamic loads are more effective for crack detection problems. Moreover, we tested different dynamic loads and find that NM method works more efficient under the harmonic load than the pounding load while the QN method achieves almost the same results for both load types.
A global strategy, Multilevel Coordinate Search (MCS) with XFEM (XFEM-MCS) methodology under the dynamic electric load, to detect multiple cracks in 2D piezoelectric plates is proposed in this dissertation. The Newmark-b method is employed for the time integration and in each iteration the forward problem is solved by XFEM for various cracks. The objective functional is minimized by using a global search algorithm MCS. The test problems show that the XFEM-MCS algorithm under the dynamic electric load can be effectively employed for multiple cracks detection in piezoelectric materials, and it proves to be robust in identifying defects in piezoelectric structures. Fiber-reinforced composites (FRCs) are extensively applied in practical engineering since they have high stiffness and strength. Experiments reveal a so-called interphase zone, i.e. the space between the outside interface of the fiber and the inside interface of the matrix. The interphase strength between the fiber and the matrix strongly affects the mechanical properties as a result of the large ratio of interface/volume. For the purpose of understanding the mechanical properties of FRCs with functionally graded interphase (FGI), a closed-form expression of the interface strength between a fiber and a matrix is obtained in this dissertation using a continuum modeling approach according to the ver derWaals (vdW) forces. Based on the interatomic potential, we develop a new modified nonlinear cohesive law, which is applied to study the interface delamination of FRCs with FGI under different loadings. The analytical solutions show that the delamination behavior strongly depends on the interphase thickness, the fiber radius, the Young’s moduli and Poisson’s ratios of the fiber and the matrix. Thermal conductivity is the property of a material to conduct heat. With the development and deep research of 2D materials, especially graphene and molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), the thermal conductivity of 2D materials attracts wide attentions. The thermal conductivity of graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) is found to appear a tendency of decreasing under tensile strain by classical molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Hence, the strain effects of graphene can play a key role in the continuous tunability and applicability of its thermal conductivity property at nanoscale, and the dissipation of thermal conductivity is an obstacle for the applications of thermal management. Up to now, the thermal conductivity of graphene under shear deformation has not been investigated yet. From a practical point of view, good thermal managements of GNRs have significantly potential applications of future GNR-based thermal nanodevices, which can greatly improve performances of the nanosized devices due to heat dissipations. Meanwhile, graphene is a thin membrane structure, it is also important to understand the wrinkling behavior under shear deformation. MoS2 exists in the stable semiconducting 1H phase (1H-MoS2) while the metallic 1T phase (1T-MoS2) is unstable at ambient conditions. As it’s well known that much attention has been focused on studying the nonlinear optical properties of the 1H-MoS2. In a very recent research, the 1T-type monolayer crystals of TMDCs, MX2 (MoS2, WS2 ...) was reported having an intrinsic in-plane negative Poisson’s ratio. Luckily, nearly at the same time, unprecedented long-term (>3months) air stability of the 1T-MoS2 can be achieved by using the donor lithium hydride (LiH). Therefore, it’s very important to study the thermal conductivity of 1T-MoS2.
The thermal conductivity of graphene under shear strain is systematically studied in this dissertation by MD simulations. The results show that, in contrast to the dramatic decrease of thermal conductivity of graphene under uniaxial tensile, the thermal conductivity of graphene is not sensitive to the shear strain, and the thermal conductivity decreases only 12-16%. The wrinkle evolves when the shear strain is around 5%-10%, but the thermal conductivity barely changes.
The thermal conductivities of single-layer 1H-MoS2(1H-SLMoS2) and single-layer 1T-MoS2 (1T-SLMoS2) with different sample sizes, temperatures and strain rates have been studied systematically in this dissertation. We find that the thermal conductivities of 1H-SLMoS2 and 1T-SLMoS2 in both the armchair and the zigzag directions increase with the increasing of the sample length, while the increase of the width of the sample has minor effect on the thermal conductions of these two structures. The thermal conductivity of 1HSLMoS2 is smaller than that of 1T-SLMoS2 under size effect. Furthermore, the temperature effect results show that the thermal conductivities of both 1H-SLMoS2 and 1T-SLMoS2 decrease with the increasing of the temperature. The thermal conductivities of 1HSLMoS2 and 1T-SLMoS2 are nearly the same (difference <6%) in both of the chiral orientations under corresponding temperatures, especially in the armchair direction (difference <2.8%). Moreover, we find that the strain effects on the thermal conductivity of 1HSLMoS2 and 1T-SLMoS2 are different. More specifically, the thermal conductivity decreases with the increasing tensile strain rate for
1T-SLMoS2, while fluctuates with the growth of the strain for 1HSLMoS2. Finally, we find that the thermal conductivity of same sized 1H-SLMoS2 is similar with that of the strained 1H-SLMoS2 structure.

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.

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.

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.

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.