The aim of this study is to present a representative volume element (RVE) for nanocomposites with different microstructural features using a stochastic finite element approach. To that end, computer-simulated microstructures of nanocomposites were generated to include a variety of uncertainty present in geometry, orientation, and distribution of carbon nanotubes. Microstructures were converted into finite element models based on an image-based approach for the determination of elastic properties. For each microstructure type, 50 realizations of synthetic microstructures were generated to capture the variability as well as the average values. Computer-simulated microstructures were generated at different length scales to determine the change in mechanical properties as a function of length scale. A representative volume element is defined at a length scale beyond which no change in variability is observed. The results show that there is no universal RVE applicable to all properties and microstructures; however, the RVE size is highly dependent on microstructural features. Microstructures with agglomeration tend to require larger RVE. Similarly, random microstructures require larger RVE when compared with aligned microstructures.
|Journal of Engineering Materials and Technology, Transactions of the ASME
|Published - Jul 2020
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Materials Science
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering