A Computational Study of Structure Development and Texture Formation in Carbonaceous Mesophase Fibers
thesisposted on 22.05.2021, 17:28 authored by Shujuan Hong
In this thesis, thermal relaxation phenomena after the melt-extrusion of a rigid discotic uniaxial nematic mesophase pitch were studied using mathematical modeling and computer simulation. The Eriksen and Landau-de Gennes continuum theories were used to investigate the structure development and texture formation across mesophase pitch based carbon fibers. It is found that during the thermal relaxation, discotic nematic molecules stored elastic free energy decays. The distorted nematic molecular profile reoriented to release the stored elastic free energy. The difference in time scales for molecular reorientation and thermal relaxation resulted in different transverse textures. The rate at which the fibers are cooled is the main factor in controlling the structure development. A slow cooling rate would permit nemiatic discotic molecules to reorient to a well developed (radial or onion) texture. The random texture is a result of rapid quenching. The numerical results are consistent with published experimental observations.