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Nerovnovážně termodynamické modelování polymerních pěn
Thesis title in Czech: Nerovnovážně termodynamické modelování polymerních pěn
Thesis title in English: Non-equilibrium thermodynamic modeling of polymeric foams
Key words: Nerovnovážná termodynamika, fázová separace, difuze, polymer, směs
English key words: Non-equilibrium thermodynamics, phase separation, diffusion, polymer, mixture
Academic year of topic announcement: 2018/2019
Type of assignment: diploma thesis
Thesis language:
Department: Mathematical Institute of Charles University (32-MUUK)
Supervisor: RNDr. Michal Pavelka, Ph.D.
Advisors: prof. Ing. František Maršík, DrSc.
1) Non-equilibrium thermodynamic [2,3] reformulation of the Maxwell-Stefan Cahn-Hilliard model from [4].
2) Extension of the model to non-isothermal conditions.
3) Mathematical formulation of the model (weak formulation and other mathematical properties).
4) Development of a 1D and 2D (or 3D) finite-element code in the FeniCS framework giving numerical solutions to the model.
5) If possible, the solutions should be compared to the experimental temperature and composition profiles.
[1] M. Vonka, A. Nistor, A. Rygl, M. Toulec and J. Kosek, Morphology model for polymer foams formed by thermally induced phase separation, Chemical Engineering Journal 284 (2016), 357-371
[2] S. R. de Groot and P. Mazur, Non-equilibrium thermodynamics, Dover 1984
[3] G. Lebon, D. Jou and J. Casas-Vázquez, Understanding Non-equilibrium Thermodynamics, Springer 2008
[4] M. Voclová, Improved description of transport in Cahn-Hilliard model of morphology evolution, Master thesis, University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague 2016
Preliminary scope of work in English
Polymeric foams (e.g. extruded polystyrene foam) are widely used as thermal insulators, sound insulators or impact absorbers. Such foams can be created from polymer solutions by phase separation. A promising way to trigger the phase separation is spinodal decomposition induced by cooling down the mixture below the critical point [1].

The goal of the thesis is to develop a thermodynamically consistent model of a non-isothermal mixture of a polymer and a solvent undergoing spinodal decomposition and to obtain numerical solutions to the model. Preferably, the results (morphology, temperature profiles, etc.) should be compared to experiments held at the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague (Juraj Kosek’s group).

The thesis could result in an improved preparation procedure of the polymeric foam, in particular leading to superior thermal insulators, and it could provide interpretation of the so far unexplained experimental observations. Moreover, it should push the frontiers of the theory of non-equilibrium thermodynamics.
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