Viscoelastic interphases in polymer-matrix composites: Theoretical models and finite-element analysis

F. T. Fisher, L. C. Brinson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations


We investigate the mechanical property predictions for a three-phase viscoelastic (VE) composite by the use of two micro-mechanical models: the original Mori-Tanaka (MT) method and an extension of the Mori-Tanaka solution developed by Benveniste to treat fibers with interphase regions. These micro-mechanical solutions were compared to a suitable finite-element analysis, which provided the benchmark numerical results for a periodic array of inclusions. Several case studies compare the composite moduli predicted by each of these methods, highlighting the role of the interphase. We show that the MT method, in general, provides the better micromechanical approximation of the viscoelastic behaviour of the composite; however, the micromechanical methods only provide an order-of-magnitude approximation for the effective moduli. Finally, these methods were used to study the physical aging of a viscoelastic composite. The results imply that the existence of an interphase region, with viscoelastic moduli different from those of the bulk matrix, is not responsible for the difference in the shift rates, μ22 and μ66, describing the transverse Young's axial shear moduli, found experimentally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)731-748
Number of pages18
JournalComposites Science and Technology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 1 2001


  • Finite element analysis
  • Interphase
  • Micromechanics
  • Physical aging
  • Viscoelasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Engineering(all)

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