Comput.Mater.Cont. 42, 1-23, 2014
A.Y. Matveeva1, H.J. Böhm2,
G.Kravchenko2, F.W.J. van Hattum1
1Institute for Polymers and Composites,
University of Minho, Guimaraes, Portugal
2Institute of Lightweight Design and Structural Biomechanics,
TU Wien, Vienna, Austria
This paper presents a comparison of different finite element approaches to
modelling polymers reinforced with wavy, hollow fibres with the aim of
predicting the effective elastic stiffness tensors of the composites.
The waviness of the tubes is described by sinusoidal models with different
These volume elements are discretized by structured volume meshes onto which
fibres in the form of independently meshed beam, shell or volume elements are
An embedded element technique is used to link the two sets of meshes.
Reference solutions are obtained from conventional three-dimensional volume
models of the same phase arrangements.
Periodicity boundary conditions are applied in all cases and fibre volume
fractions of up to a few percent are considered.
The results indicate that embedded element techniques using shell elements for
discretizing the fibres may provide an attractive combination of accuracy,
computational cost and flexibility for modelling composites reinforced by
arbitrarily, three-dimensionally curved nanotubes.