Due to its distinguished properties especially being isotropic, particulate reinforced composite is considered as one of the attractive material for wide range of applications, where the relatively low manufacturing cost is a desirable advantage. In the present analysis, deteriorated particles embedded in particulate reinforced composite have been investigated. The impact of the fractured particles is studied through the principles of fracture mechanics using finite element method. Mainly the stiffness variation of the composite due to the presence of the fractured particles is mainly predicted, since it is considered as an important factor especially from the view point of the damage-tolerant design of composite structures. A representative volume element (RVE) has been selected to represent the particulate composite with different particle volume fractions. It is important to point out that based on a previous investigation and comparison between two and three dimensional finite element analysis for a particulate reinforced composite, two-dimensional, plane strain finite element analysis is used to estimate the stresses and deformation that taken place. Uniaxial tensile stress perpendicular to the crack face of the fractured particle has been applied to the representative volume element. Due to symmetry of the studied geometries, quarter of the representative volume element is modeled via finite element method with a consistent mesh as possible to maintain reliable results. Linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM) is adopted through estimating stress intensity factor (SIF) of the cracked particles. Basically, the investigation covers the assessment of fractured particles with different crack lengths, where the particle’s stiffness is considered as a substantial parameter in the analysis in combination with others. Moreover, various particles volume fractions are taken into account to figure out their influence on the effective Young’s modulus of the representative volume element chosen for the studied cases. Multiple point constraints (MPC) technique is adopted in the finite element model to calculate the effective stiffness of the fractured particle. In general, it has been shown that there is a considerable influence of the deteriorated particles on increasing stress intensity factor levels at the crack tip as long as the crack length increases with respect to the particle size, and this basically depends on the stiffness ratio of the matrix/particle considered in the analysis. In the other hand, it has been noticed that a significant reduction in the effective stiffness of the particulate composite which is calculated based on the modeled representative volume element as a function of the crack length.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.