Contact problem for a composite material with nacre inspired microstructure

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Bi-material composites with nacre inspired brick and mortar microstructures, characterized by stiff elements of one phase with high aspect ratio separated by thin layers of the second one, are considered. Such microstructure is proved to provide an efficient solution for the problem of a crack arrest. However, contrary to the case of a homogeneous material, an external pressure, applied to a part of the composite boundary, can cause significant tensile stresses which increase the danger of crack nucleation. Investigation of the influence of microstructure parameters on the magnitude of tensile stresses is performed by means of the classical Flamant-like problem of an orthotropic half-plane subjected to a normal external distributed loading. Adequate analysis of this problem represents a serious computational task due to the geometry of the considered layout and the high contrast between the composite constituents. This difficulty is presently circumvented by deriving a micro-to-macro analysis in the framework of which an analytical solution of the auxiliary elasticity problem, followed by the discrete Fourier transform and the higher-order theory are employed. As a result, full scale continuum modeling of both composite constituents without employing any simplifying assumptions is presented. In the framework of the present proposed modeling, the influence of stiff elements aspect ratio on the overall stress distribution is demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number085002
JournalModelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering
Issue number8
StatePublished - 10 Oct 2017


  • Flamant problem
  • brick and mortar microstructure
  • discrete Fourier transform
  • higher-rder theory
  • nacre


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