Micromechanics of composite materials governed by vector constitutive laws

Brett A. Bednarcyk*, Jacob Aboudi, Steven M. Arnold

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The high-fidelity generalized method of cells micromechanics theory has been extended for the prediction of the effective property tensor and the corresponding local field distributions for composites whose constituents are governed by vector constitutive laws. As shown, the shear analogy, which can predict effective transverse properties, is not valid in the general three-dimensional case. Consequently, a general derivation is presented that is applicable to both continuously and discontinuously reinforced composites with arbitrary vector constitutive laws and periodic microstructures. Results are given for thermal and electric problems, effective properties and local field distributions, ordered and random microstructures, as well as complex geometries including woven composites. Comparisons of the theory's predictions are made to test data, numerical analysis, and classical expressions from the literature. Further, classical methods cannot provide the local field distributions in the composite, and it is demonstrated that, as the percolation threshold is approached, their predictions are increasingly unreliable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-151
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Solids and Structures
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • Composite materials
  • Dielectric constant
  • Electric permittivity
  • High-fidelity generalized method of cells
  • Micromechanics
  • Modeling
  • Thermal conductivity


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