A mechanistic approach to damage in short-fiber composites based on micromechanical and continuum damage mechanics descriptions

Ba Nghiep Nguyen, Mohammad A. Khaleel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)


A micro-macro mechanistic approach to matrix cracking in randomly oriented short-fiber composites is developed in this paper. At the micro-scale, the virgin and reduced elastic properties of the reference aligned fiber composite are determined using micromechanical models [Proc. Roy Soc. Lond. A241 (1957) 376; Acta Metall. 21 (1973) 571; Mech. Mater. 2 (1983) 123], and are then distributed over all possible orientations in order to compute the stiffness of the random fiber composite containing random matrix microcracks. After that the macroscopic response is obtained by means of a continuum damage mechanics formulation, which extends the thermodynamics based approach in [Comp. Sci. Technol. 46 (1993) 29] to randomly oriented short-fiber composites. Damage accumulations leading to initiation and propagation of a macroscopic crack are modeled using a vanishing element technique. The model is validated against the published experimental data and results [Comp. Sci. Technol 55 (1995) 171]. Finally, its practical application is illustrated through the damage analysis of a random glass/epoxy composite plate containing a central hole and under tensile loading.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-617
Number of pages11
JournalComposites Science and Technology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes



  • A. Short-fiber composite
  • B. Matrix cracking
  • C. Damage mechanics
  • C. Stress concentration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Ceramics and Composites

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