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Effect of fiber arrangement on mechanical properties of short fiber reinforced composites

2-D "tension-shear chain" model (Ref.1-3) is well known successfully capturing the basic mechanical features of staggered structures in shell-like biomaterials. Our recent paper appeared in Comp. Sci. Tech. developed a three-dimensional (3D) "tension-shear chain" theoretical model to predict the mechanical properties of unidirectional short fiber reinforced composites, and especially to investigate the distribution effect of short fibers.

The accuracy of its predictions on effective modulus, strength, failure strain and energy storage capacity of composites with different distributions of fibers are validated by simulations of finite element method (FEM). It is found that besides the volume fraction, shape, and orientation of the reinforcements, the distribution of fibers also plays a significant role in the mechanical properties of unidirectional composites. Two stiffness distribution factors and two strength distribution factors are identified to completely characterize this influence. It is also noted that stairwise staggering (including regular staggering), which is adopted by the nature, could achieve overall excellent performance. The proposed 3D tension-shear chain model may provide guidance to the design of short fiber reinforced composites.

1. Gao H, Ji B, Jager IL, et al. Materials become insensitive to flaws at nanoscale: lessons from nature. Proc National Acad Sci USA 2003;100:5597–600.
2. Ji B, Gao H. Mechanical properties of nanostructure of biological materials. J Mech Phys Solids 2004;52:1963–90.
3. Zhang ZQ, Liu B, Huang Y, et al. Mechanical properties of unidirectional nanocomposites with non-uniformly or randomly staggered platelet distribution. J Mech Phys Solids 2010;58:1646–60.

PDF icon Lei Zhang Liu_Comp Sci Tech_2012.pdf610.99 KB
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