The addition of short fibers has been experimentally observed to slow the stress relaxation of viscoelastic polymers, producing a change in the relaxation time constant. Our recent study attributed this effect of fibers on stress relaxation behavior to the interfacial shear stress transfer at the fiber-matrix interface. This model explained the effect of fiber addition on stress relaxation without the need to postulate structural changes at the interface. In our previous study, we developed an analytical model for the effect of fully aligned short fibers, and the model predictions were successfully compared to finite element simulations. However, in most industrial applications of short-fiber composites, fibers are not aligned, and hence it is necessary to examine the time dependence of viscoelastic polymers containing randomly oriented short fibers. In this study, we propose an analytical model to predict the stress relaxation behavior of short-fiber composites where the fibers are randomly oriented. The model predictions were compared to results obtained from Monte Carlo finite element simulations, and good agreement between the two was observed. The analytical model provides an excellent tool to accurately predict the stress relaxation behavior of randomly oriented short-fiber composites.
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