Mechanical properties and damage evolution of short-fiber-reinforced metal matrix composites (MMC) are studied under a micromechanics model accounting for the history of cooling and thermal cycling. A cohesive interface is formulated in conjunction with the Gurson-Tvergaard matrix damage model. Attention is focused on the residual stresses and damages by the thermal mismatch. Substantial stress drop in the uniaxial tensile response is found for a computational cell that experienced a cooling process. The stress drop is caused by debonding along the fiber ends. Subsequent thermal cycling lowers the debonding stress and the debonding strain. Micromechanics analysis reveals three failure modes. When the thermal histories are ignored, the cell fails by matrix damage outside the fiber ends. With the incorporation of cooling, the cell fails by fiber end debonding and the subsequent transverse matrix damage. When thermal cycling is also included, the cell fails by jagged debonding around the fiber tops followed by necking instability of matrix ligaments. [S0094-4289(00)01202-0]

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