Elastic response of metal matrix composites with tailored microstructures to thermal gradients

Jacob Aboudi, Marek Jerzy Pindera, Steven M. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A new micromechanical theory is presented for the response of heterogeneous metal matrix composites subjected to thermal gradients. In contrast to existing micromechanical theories that utilize classical homogenization schemes in the course of calculating microscopic and macroscopic field quantities, in the present approach the actual microstructural details are explicitly coupled with the macrostructure of the composite. Examples are offered that illustrate limitations of the classical homogenization approach in predicting the response of thin-walled metal matrix composites with large-diameter fibers to thermal gradients. These examples include composites with a finite number of fibers in the thickness direction that may be uniformly or nonuniformly spaced, thus admitting so-called functionally gradient composites. The results illustrate that the classical approach of decoupling micromechanical and macromechanical analyses in the presence of a finite number of large-diameter fibers, finite dimensions of the composite, and temperature gradient may lead to serious errors in the calculation of both macroscopic and microscopic field quantities. The usefulness of the new outlined approach in generating favorable stress distributions in the presence of thermal gradients by appropriately tailoring the internal microstructural details of the composite is also demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1393-1428
Number of pages36
JournalInternational Journal of Solids and Structures
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 1994


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