3 years ago

Spectral Analysis of Inhomogeneities Shows that the Elastic Stiffness of Random Composites Decreases with Increasing Heterogeneity.

Ehsan Ban

Investigation of inhomogeneities has wide applications in different areas of mechanics including the study of composite materials. Here, we analytically study an arbitrarily-shaped isotropic inhomogeneity embedded in a finite-sized heterogeneous medium. By modal decomposition of the influence of the inhomogeneity on the deformation of the composite, a relation is presented that determines the variation of effective elastic stiffness caused by the presence of the inhomogeneity. This relation indicates that the effective elastic stiffness of a composite is always a concave function of the properties of the inhomogeneity, embedded inside the composite. Therefore, as the heterogeneity of elastic random composites increases, the rate of increase in effective stiffness caused by the stiffer constituents is smaller than the rate of its decrease due to the softer constitutions. So, weakly heterogeneous random composites become softer and less conductive with increasing heterogeneity at the same mean of constituent properties. We numerically evaluated the effective properties of about ten thousand composites to empirically support these results and extend them to conductive materials. This article presents a generalization of our recent theoretical study on the influence of the stiffness of a single fiber on the elastic stiffness of a network of fibers to arbitrarily-shaped inhomogeneities and different transport phenomena.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1801.05066

DOI: arXiv:1801.05066v1

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