3D finite element analysis of particle-reinforced aluminum

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Deformation in particle-reinforced aluminum has been simulated using three distinct types of finite element model: a three-dimensional repeating unit cell, a three-dimensional multi-particle model, and two-dimensional multi-particle models. The repeating unit cell model represents a fictitious periodic cubic array of particles. The 3D multi-particle (3D-MP) model represents randomly placed and oriented particles. The 2D generalized plane strain multi-particle models were obtained from planar sections through the 3D-MP model. These models were used to study the tensile macroscopic stress-strain response and the associated stress and strain distributions in an elastoplastic matrix. The results indicate that the 2D model having a particle area fraction equal to the particle represnetative volume fraction of the 3D models predicted the same macroscopic stress-strain response as the 3D models. However, there are fluctuations in the particle area fraction in a representative volume element. As expected, predictions from 2D models having different particle area fractions do not agree with predictions from 3D models. More importantly, it was found that the microscopic stress and strain distributions from the 2D models do not agree with those from the 3D-MP model. Specifically, the plastic strain distribution predicted by the 2D model is banded along lines inclined at 45° from the loading axis while the 3D model prediction is not. Additionally, the triaxial stress and maximum principal stress distributions predicted by 2D and 3D models do not agree. Thus, it appears necessary to use a multi-particle 3D model to accurately predict material responses that depend on local effects, such as strain-to-failure, fracture toughness, and fatigue life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-281
Number of pages11
JournalMaterials Science & Engineering A: Structural Materials: Properties, Microstructure and Processing
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 15 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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