Effect of fiber orientation on the non-affine deformation of random fiber networks
The study of fiber networks is essential in understanding the mechanical properties of many polymeric and biological materials. These systems deform non-affinely, i.e. the local deformation is different than the applied far-field. The degree of non-affinity increases with decreasing scale of observation. Here, we show that this relationship is a power law with a scaling exponent independent of the type of applied load. Preferential fiber orientation influences non-affinity in a significant way: this parameter generally increases upon increasing orientation. However, some components of non-affinity, such as that associated with the normal strain in the direction of the preferential fiber orientation, decrease. In random networks, the nature of the far-field has little influence on the level of non-affinity. This is not the case in oriented networks.
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