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Microstructure-Based Simulation of Thermomechanical Behavior of Composite Materials by Object-Oriented Finite Element Analysis



N Chawla, B V. Patel, M Koopman, K K. Chawla, R Saha, B R. Patterson, Lin-Sien H. Lum, Stephen A. Langer


While it is well recognized that microstructure controls the physical and mechanical properties of a material, the complexity of the microstructure often makes it difficult to simulate by analytical or numerical techniques. In this paper we present a relatively new approach to incorporate microstructures into finite element modeling using an Object Oriented Finite element (OOF) technique. This technique combines microstructural data in the form of experimental or simulated microstructures, with fundamental material data (such as elastic modulus or coefficient of thermal expansion) as a basis for understanding material behavior. Unlike conventional finite element analysis, where a unit cell model is used as the basis for predicting material behavior, OOF represents a radical departure from this approach, inasmuch as the starting point of the model is the actual microstructure of the material being investigated. In this paper an introduction to the Object Oriented Finite element approach to microstructure-based modeling is provided with two examples: SiC particle reinforced Al matrix composites and double-cemented WC particle reinforced Co matrix composites. It will be shown that OOF is a unique tool that can be used to predict elastic and thermal constants, as well as salient effects of the microstructure on local stress state.
Materials Characterization
No. 5


aluminum, composites, finite element, microstructure, modeling, object oriented, oof, SiC


Chawla, N. , Patel, B. , Koopman, M. , Chawla, K. , Saha, R. , Patterson, B. , Lum, L. and Langer, S. (2002), Microstructure-Based Simulation of Thermomechanical Behavior of Composite Materials by Object-Oriented Finite Element Analysis, Materials Characterization (Accessed June 18, 2024)


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Created November 30, 2002, Updated October 12, 2021