Second-rank fabric tensors have been extensively used to describe structural anisotropy and to predict orthotropic elastic constants. However, there are many different definitions of, and approaches to, determining the fabric tensor. Most commonly used is a fabric tensor based on mean intercept length measurements, but star volume distribution and star length distribution are commonly used, particularly in studies of trabecular bone. Here, we investigate the effect of the fabric tensor definition on elastic constant predictions using both synthetic, idealized microstructures as well as a micrograph of a porous ceramic. We use an efficient implantation of a symmetric Galerkin boundary element method to model the mechanical response of the various microstructures, and also use a boundary element approach to calculate the necessary volume averages of stress and strain to obtain the effective properties of the media.
Boundary element method Representative volume element Fabric tensor
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