The effective elastic moduli of microcracked composite materials

Y. Huang*, K. X. Hu, A. Chandra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The self-consistent mechanics method has been widely used to estimate the macroscopic elastic moduli of solids containing microvoids and inclusions. Another method based on the crack energy release and potential energy balance has also been used to estimate the overall elastic moduli of a microcracked solid. It is shown here that these two approaches are equivalent for microcracked solids, thus one can take advantage of both methods to estimate the elastic moduli of inclusion-crack-matrix composites i.e. microcracked composite material. A solid containing spherical inclusions and randomly distributed penny-shaped cracks is then studied. The effective elastic moduli of a solid with spherical inclusions and parallel-distributed penny-shaped cracks are also studied. It is established that the effects of inclusions and microcracks on overall moduli are approximately decoupled for stiff inclusions, which are in most metal matrix composites. This conclusion is particularly useful since one may then obtain the moduli of composites by a simple two-step estimation. For compliant inclusions, including the limiting case of voids, the decoupling does not hold.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1907-1918
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Solids and Structures
Issue number14
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics

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