Microscale modeling of the mechanical behavior of heterogeneous and
complex materials

V. Cannillo, M. Montorsi


The microstructure of complex and heterogeneous materials has a key role: in fact it is the microstructure that affects the global properties of a material. Therefore  it is desirable to prepare models closely related to the microstructure, in order to design the material for a specific application. In particular, micro-mechanics models must be developed to optimize the performance in terms of mechanical properties and reliability. A recently developed code called OOF [1] can be exploited in order to prepare microstructure-based models. OOF maps materials microstructures onto finite element meshes, and thus the microstructural features can be included in the numerical model. This tool can be successfully employed in order to investigate complex  materials, such as composites, polycrystals and porous specimens.  Moreover, it is possible to complete the design of the material by means of a multi-scale approach. An atomistic method, in particular a molecular dynamics technique, can be adopted in order to get insight into the structural features which affects the physical properties. The indications obtained at the atomistic level should be used as an input for the microscale computations. This approach can be used in order to optimize classical materials as well as to design new products.


[1] S. A. Langer, E. R. Fuller, W. C. Carter, OOF: an image-based finite element analysis of material microstructures, Comput. Sci. Eng., 2001, 3, 15-23.