Asymptotically consistent and computationally efficient modeling of short-ranged molecular interactions between curved slender fibers undergoing large 3D deformations

Maximilian J. Grill, Wolfgang A. Wall, Christoph Meier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article proposes a novel computational modeling approach for short-ranged molecular interactions between curved slender fibers undergoing large 3D deformations, and gives a detailed overview how it fits into the framework of existing fiber or beam interaction models, either considering microscale molecular or macroscale contact effects. The direct evaluation of a molecular interaction potential between two general bodies in 3D space would require to integrate molecule densities over two 3D volumes, leading to a sixfold integral to be solved numerically. By exploiting the short-range nature of the considered class of interaction potentials as well as the fundamental kinematic assumption of undeformable fiber cross-sections, as typically applied in mechanical beam theories, a recently derived, closed-form analytical solution is applied for the interaction potential between a given section of the first fiber (slave beam) and the entire second fiber (master beam), whose geometry is linearly expanded at the point with smallest distance to the given slave beam section. This novel approach based on a pre-defined section–beam interaction potential (SBIP) requires only one single integration step along the slave beam length to be performed numerically. In addition to significant gains in computational efficiency, the total beam–beam interaction potential resulting from this approach is shown to exhibit an asymptotically consistent angular and distance scaling behavior. Critically for the numerical solution scheme, a regularization of the interaction potential in the zero-separation limit as well as the finite element discretization of the interacting fibers, modeled by the geometrically exact beam theory, are presented. In addition to elementary two-fiber systems, carefully chosen to verify accuracy and asymptotic consistence of the proposed SBIP approach, a potential practical application in form of adhesive nanofiber-grafted surfaces is studied. Involving a large number of helicoidal fibers undergoing large 3D deformations, arbitrary mutual fiber orientations as well as frequent local fiber pull-off and snap-into-contact events, this example demonstrates the robustness and computational efficiency of the new approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7
JournalAdvanced Modeling and Simulation in Engineering Sciences
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2024

Keywords

  • Finite element method
  • Geometrically exact beam theory
  • Interaction of slender fibers
  • Intermolecular forces
  • Lennard-Jones potential
  • Van der Waals interaction

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