This paper proposes a fully coupled three-scale finite element model for the mechanical description of an alumina/magnesium alloy/epoxy composite inspired in the mechanics and architecture of wood cellulose fibres. The constitutive response of the composite (the large scale continuum) is described by means of a representative volume element (RVE, corresponding to the intermediate scale) in which the fibre is represented as a periodic alternation of alumina and magnesium alloy fractions. Furthermore, at a lower scale the overall constitutive behavior of the alumina/magnesium alloy fibre is modelled as a single material defined by a large number of RVEs (the smallest material scale) at the Gauss point (intermediate) level. Numerical material tests show that the choice of the volume fraction of alumina based on those volume fractions of crystalline cellulose found in wood cells results in a maximisation of toughness in the present bio-inspired composite.

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