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Challenge Problems for the Benchmarking of Micromechanics Analysis

ANDREW J. RITCHEY, JOHNATHAN GOODSELL, HAMSASEW M. SERTSE, WENBIN YU, R. BYRON PIPES

Abstract


Because of the inherent heterogeneity in composites, the field of micromechanics provides essential tools for the understanding and analyzing composite materials and structures. Micromechanics can serve two purposes: homogenization or prediction of effective properties and dehomogenization or recovery of the local fields in the original heterogeneous material. Many micromechanical tools have been developed and codified, including many commercially-available software packages that offer micromechanical analyses as either a stand-alone tool or as part of a chain of analyses. However, with the increasing number of tools available, the practitioner must determine which tool(s) provides the most value for the problem at hand given budget, time and resource constraints. To date, simple benchmarking examples have been reported in the literature. The present paper suggests a series of comprehensive benchmarking exercises in the field of micromechanics against which such tools can be compared. The microstructures include aligned, continuous fibers in a matrix, with and without an interphase; a 0/90 laminate; spherical inclusions; a plain-weave fabric; and a “random” short-fiber microstructure. In each case, the material constitutive relations are restricted to linear-elastic. Results from DIGMAT-MF, MAC/GMC, FVDAM, Altair MDS, SwiftComp, and 3D finite element analysis are reported.

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