The properties of composite solids containing multiple, viscoelastic phases are studied numerically. The dynamic correspondence principle of viscoelasticity is utilized in a finite element model to solve boundary value problems for obtaining global complex moduli of the composite. This numerical procedure accounts for the coupled interactive deformation of the phases and thus the resultant accuracy is limited only by that of finite element analyses in general. The example composite considered in this study contains cylindrical viscoelastic inclusions embedded in a viscoelastic matrix. This investigation focuses on the global composite moduli and their relationship to the individual phase properties as a function of volume fraction. A given phase material is shown to have differing effects on the composite properties, depending on whether it is the continuous or the included phase: In general, the composite moduli are dominated by the matrix material. Comparison is made with two simple analytical models for global effective moduli of composites. “Upper Bounds” reproduce the behavior over the whole frequency range when the matrix is the “stiffer” of the two solids while the “lower bond” associates with the converse arrangement, also over the whole frequency range. The nature of time-temperature behavior of multiphase composite materials is examined in a companion paper.

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