Mechanical properties of unidirectional nanocomposites with non-uniformly or randomly staggered platelet distribution

Z. Q. Zhang, B. Liu*, Yonggang Huang, K. C. Hwang, H. Gao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

99 Scopus citations


Unidirectional nanocomposite structures with parallel staggered platelet reinforcements are widely observed in natural biological materials. The present paper is aimed at an investigation of the stiffness, strength, failure strain and energy storage capacity of a unidirectional nanocomposite with non-uniformly or randomly staggered platelet distribution. Our study indicates that, besides the volume fraction, shape, and orientation of the platelets, their distribution also plays a significant role in the mechanical properties of a unidirectional nanocomposite, which can be quantitatively characterized in terms of four dimensionless parameters associated with platelet distribution. It is found that, compared with other distributions, stairwise and regular staggering of platelets produce overall the most balanced mechanical properties, which might be a key reason why these structures are most widely observed in nature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1646-1660
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010



  • Biocomposites
  • Biomimetic composites
  • Homogenization method
  • Mechanical properties
  • Non-uniform distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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