Micromechanics and Structural Response of Functionally Graded, Particulate-Matrix, Fiber-Reinforced Composites


Reinforcement of fibrous composites by stiff particles embedded in the matrix offers the potential for simple, economical functional grading, enhanced response to mechanical loads, and improved functioning at high temperatures. Here, we consider laminated plates made of such a material, with spherical reinforcement tailored by layer. The moduli for this material lie within relatively narrow bounds. Two separate moduli estimates are considered: a “two-step” approach in which fibers are embedded in a homogenized particulate matrix, and the Kanaun-Jeulin (Kanaun, S.K., Jeulin, D., 2001. Elastic properties of hybrid composites by the effective field approach. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids 49, 2339-2367) approach, which we re-derive in a simple way using the Benveniste (1988) method. Optimal tailoring of a plate is explored, and functional grading is shown to improve the performance of the structures considered. In the example of a square, simply supported, cross-ply laminated panel subjected to uniform transverse pressure, a modest functional grading offers significant improvement in performance. A second example suggests superior blast resistance of the panel achieved at the expense of only a small increase in weight.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


United States. Army Research Office
National Institutes of Health (U.S.)

Keywords and Phrases

Ashby Method for Materials Selection; Blast Loading; Optimization of Laminated Composites; Composite materials; Micromechanics

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Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2008 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 May 2008