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Open AccessArticle

Moisture Absorption in Polymer Composites Reinforced with Vegetable Fiber: A Three-Dimensional Investigation via Langmuir Model

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Postgraduate Program in Process Engineering, Federal University of Campina Grande, Campina Grande, Paraiba 58429-900, Brazil
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Department of Production Engineering, Faculdade Paraíso – CE, Juazeiro do Norte 63010-220, Brazil
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Mathematics Department, Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Piauí (IFPI), Floriano, Piauí 64808-475, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(11), 1847; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11111847
Received: 3 October 2019 / Revised: 1 November 2019 / Accepted: 7 November 2019 / Published: 9 November 2019
This work aims to study numerically the moisture absorption in polymer composite reinforced with vegetable fibers using the Langmuir model which considers the existence of free and entrapped water molecules inside the material. A three-dimensional and transient modeling for describing the water absorption process inside the composite and its numerical solution via finite volume method were presented and discussed. Application has been made for polymer composites reinforced with sisal fiber. Emphasis was given to the effect of the layer thickness of fluid close to the wall of the composite in the progress of water migration. Results of the free and entrapped solute (water) concentration, local moisture content and average moisture content, at different times of process, and inside the composite were presented and analyzed. It was verified that concentration gradients of the molecules (free and entrapped) are higher in the material surface, at any time of the process, and concentration of free solute is greater than the concentration of entrapped solute. It was verified that the water layer thickness surrounding the composite strongly affects the moisture absorption rate.
Keywords: polymer composites; vegetal fibers; Langmuir model; numerical solution. polymer composites; vegetal fibers; Langmuir model; numerical solution.
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MDPI and ACS Style

Brito, M.K.T.; Santos, W.R.G.; Correia, B.R.B.; Queiroz, R.A.; Tavares, F.V.S.; Neto, G.L.O.; Lima, A.G.B. Moisture Absorption in Polymer Composites Reinforced with Vegetable Fiber: A Three-Dimensional Investigation via Langmuir Model. Polymers 2019, 11, 1847.

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