Determination of Effective Properties of Particulate Metal Matrix Composites using Finite Element Method
A number of analytical and numerical studies have been reported in the literature for estimating the effective properties of multiphase composites in terms of shape and volume fraction of the constituent phases. A majority of the analytical methods available today are the variants of Composite Sphere Method , Self Consistent Method [2,3] and Differential Method . Although the analytical models may offer better physical insight, extending them to complex geometries is difficult. Many of the numerical models[5–7], although FEM based, are restricted to a type of unit cell approach where the real structure is approximated to a periodic array of the second phase. These models are not valid for random spatial distribution and nonuniform size distribution of the reinforcement as in particulate composites. In this context, we present a finite element model that incorporates such complexities, and demonstrate the use of the model in estimating the effective elastic moduli and the coefficient of thermal expansion of particulate reinforced MMCs.
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