Characterization and modeling of three-dimensional self-healing shape memory alloy-reinforced metal-matrix composites

Pingping Zhu, Zhiwei Cui, Michael S. Kesler, John A. Newman, Michele V. Manuel, M. Clara Wright, L. Catherine Brinson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


In this work, three-dimensional metal-matrix composites (MMCs) reinforced by shape memory alloy (SMA) wires are modeled and simulated, by adopting an SMA constitutive model accounting for elastic deformation, phase transformation and plastic behavior. A modeling method to create composites with pre-strained SMA wires is also proposed to improve the self-healing ability. Experimental validation is provided with a composite under three-point bending. This modeling method is applied in a series of finite element simulations to investigate the self-healing effects in pre-cracked composites, especially the role of the SMA reinforcement, the softening property of the matrix, and the effect of pre-strain in the SMA. The results demonstrate that SMA reinforcements provide stronger shape recovery ability than other, non-transforming materials. The softening property of the metallic matrix and the pre-strain in SMA are also beneficial to help crack closure and healing. This modeling approach can serve as an efficient tool to design SMA-reinforced MMCs with optimal self-healing properties that have potential applications in components needing a high level of reliability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalMechanics of Materials
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Crack closure
  • Digital image correlation
  • Finite element model
  • Phase transformation
  • Pre-strain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Mechanics of Materials

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