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Special Issue "Multiscale Simulation of Composite Structures: Damage Assessment, Mechanical Analysis and Prediction"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials Simulation and Design".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Stelios K. Georgantzinos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
General Department, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, GR34400 Athens, Greece
Interests: composite structures; design; modeling; computational analysis; nanotechnology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Composites can be engineered to exhibit a high strength, high stiffness, and high toughness. Composite structures have been used increasingly in various engineering applications. In the last decades, the most fundamentals of science have expanded their span of length by many orders of magnitude. Nowadays, one of the primary goals of science and technology seems to be the quest to develop reliable methods for linking the physical phenomena that occur over multiple length scales, particularly from a nano-/micro-scale to a macroscale. To engineer composites for high performance and to design advanced structures, the relationship between material nano-/micro-structures and their macroscopic properties must be established in order to accurately predict their mechanical performance and failure. Multiscale simulation is the enabling tool for the study and comprehension of complex systems and phenomena that would otherwise be too expensive or dangerous, or even impossible, to study by direct experimentation and, thus, to deal with this goal.

The aim of this Special Issue is to assemble high quality papers that advance the field of multiscale simulation of composite structures, through the application of any modern computational and/or analytical methods alone or in conjunction with experimental techniques, for damage assessment or mechanical analysis and prediction.

It is my pleasure to invite you to submit a manuscript for this Special Issue. Full papers, communications, and reviews are all welcome.

Prof. Stelios K. Georgantzinos
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • composite structures
  • nanomechanics
  • micromechanics
  • homogenization methods
  • computational techniques
  • analytical methods
  • multiscale simulation
  • mechanical analysis
  • damage assessment
  • failure

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Article
Thermomechanical Behavior of Bone-Shaped SWCNT/Polyethylene Nanocomposites via Molecular Dynamics
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2192; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092192 - 24 Apr 2021
Viewed by 448
Abstract
In the present study, the thermomechanical effects of adding a newly proposed nanoparticle within a polymer matrix such as polyethylene are being investigated. The nanoparticle is formed by a typical single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) and two equivalent giant carbon fullerenes that are attached [...] Read more.
In the present study, the thermomechanical effects of adding a newly proposed nanoparticle within a polymer matrix such as polyethylene are being investigated. The nanoparticle is formed by a typical single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) and two equivalent giant carbon fullerenes that are attached with the nanotube edges through covalent bonds. In this way, a bone-shaped nanofiber is developed that may offer enhanced thermomechanical characteristics when used as a polymer filler, due to each unique shape and chemical nature. The investigation is based on molecular dynamics simulations of the tensile stress–strain response of polymer nanocomposites under a variety of temperatures. The thermomechanical behavior of the bone-shaped nanofiber-reinforced polyethylene is compared with that of an equivalent nanocomposite filled with ordinary capped single-walled carbon nanotubes, in order to reach some coherent fundamental conclusions. The study focuses on the evaluation of some basic, temperature-dependent properties of the nanocomposite reinforced with these innovative bone-shaped allotropes of carbon. Full article
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Article
Vibration Analysis of Carbon Fiber-Graphene-Reinforced Hybrid Polymer Composites Using Finite Element Techniques
Materials 2020, 13(19), 4225; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13194225 - 23 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 688
Abstract
In this study, a computational procedure for the investigation of the vibration behavior of laminated composite structures, including graphene inclusions in the matrix, is developed. Concerning the size-dependent behavior of graphene, its mechanical properties are derived using nanoscopic empiric equations. Using the appropriate [...] Read more.
In this study, a computational procedure for the investigation of the vibration behavior of laminated composite structures, including graphene inclusions in the matrix, is developed. Concerning the size-dependent behavior of graphene, its mechanical properties are derived using nanoscopic empiric equations. Using the appropriate Halpin-Tsai models, the equivalent elastic constants of the graphene reinforced matrix are obtained. Then, the orthotropic mechanical properties of a composite lamina of carbon fibers and hybrid matrix can be evaluated. Considering a specific stacking sequence and various geometric configurations, carbon fiber-graphene-reinforced hybrid composite plates are modeled using conventional finite element techniques. Applying simply support or clamped boundary conditions, the vibrational behavior of the composite structures are finally extracted. Specifically, the modes of vibration for every configuration are derived, as well as the effect of graphene inclusions in the natural frequencies, is calculated. The higher the volume fraction of graphene in the matrix, the higher the natural frequency for every mode. Comparisons with other methods, where it is possible, are performed for the validation of the proposed method. Full article
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Article
Thermomechanical Response of Fullerene-Reinforced Polymers by Coupling MD and FEM
Materials 2020, 13(18), 4132; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13184132 - 17 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 593
Abstract
The aim of the present study is to provide a computationally efficient and reliable hybrid numerical formulation capable of characterizing the thermomechanical behavior of nanocomposites, which is based on the combination of molecular dynamics (MD) and the finite element method (FEM). A polymeric [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study is to provide a computationally efficient and reliable hybrid numerical formulation capable of characterizing the thermomechanical behavior of nanocomposites, which is based on the combination of molecular dynamics (MD) and the finite element method (FEM). A polymeric material is selected as the matrix—specifically, the poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) commonly known as Plexiglas due to its expanded applications. On the other hand, the fullerene C240 is adopted as a reinforcement because of its high symmetry and suitable size. The numerical approach is performed at two scales. First, an analysis is conducted at the nanoscale by utilizing an appropriate nanocomposite unit cell containing the C240 at a high mass fraction. A MD-only method is applied to accurately capture all the internal interfacial effects and accordingly its thermoelastic response. Then, a micromechanical, temperature-dependent finite element analysis takes place using a representative volume element (RVE), which incorporates the first-stage MD output, to study nanocomposites with small mass fractions, whose atomistic-only simulation would require a substantial computational effort. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed scheme, numerous numerical results are presented while the investigation is performed in a temperature range that includes the PMMA glass transition temperature, Tg. Full article
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Article
Parametric Investigation of Particle Swarm Optimization to Improve the Performance of the Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy Inference System in Determining the Buckling Capacity of Circular Opening Steel Beams
Materials 2020, 13(10), 2210; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13102210 - 12 May 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1134
Abstract
In this paper, the main objectives are to investigate and select the most suitable parameters used in particle swarm optimization (PSO), namely the number of rules (nrule), population size (npop), initial weight (wini), personal learning coefficient (c [...] Read more.
In this paper, the main objectives are to investigate and select the most suitable parameters used in particle swarm optimization (PSO), namely the number of rules (nrule), population size (npop), initial weight (wini), personal learning coefficient (c1), global learning coefficient (c2), and velocity limits (fv), in order to improve the performance of the adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system in determining the buckling capacity of circular opening steel beams. This is an important mechanical property in terms of the safety of structures under subjected loads. An available database of 3645 data samples was used for generation of training (70%) and testing (30%) datasets. Monte Carlo simulations, which are natural variability generators, were used in the training phase of the algorithm. Various statistical measurements, such as root mean square error (RMSE), mean absolute error (MAE), Willmott’s index of agreement (IA), and Pearson’s coefficient of correlation (R), were used to evaluate the performance of the models. The results of the study show that the performance of ANFIS optimized by PSO (ANFIS-PSO) is suitable for determining the buckling capacity of circular opening steel beams, but is very sensitive under different PSO investigation and selection parameters. The findings of this study show that nrule = 10, npop = 50, wini = 0.1 to 0.4, c1 = [1, 1.4], c2 = [1.8, 2], fv = 0.1, which are the most suitable selection values to ensure the best performance for ANFIS-PSO. In short, this study might help in selection of suitable PSO parameters for optimization of the ANFIS model. Full article
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Article
Optimization of Artificial Intelligence System by Evolutionary Algorithm for Prediction of Axial Capacity of Rectangular Concrete Filled Steel Tubes under Compression
Materials 2020, 13(5), 1205; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13051205 - 07 Mar 2020
Cited by 36 | Viewed by 2008
Abstract
Concrete filled steel tubes (CFSTs) show advantageous applications in the field of construction, especially for a high axial load capacity. The challenge in using such structure lies in the selection of many parameters constituting CFST, which necessitates defining complex relationships between the components [...] Read more.
Concrete filled steel tubes (CFSTs) show advantageous applications in the field of construction, especially for a high axial load capacity. The challenge in using such structure lies in the selection of many parameters constituting CFST, which necessitates defining complex relationships between the components and the corresponding properties. The axial capacity (Pu) of CFST is among the most important mechanical properties. In this study, the possibility of using a feedforward neural network (FNN) to predict Pu was investigated. Furthermore, an evolutionary optimization algorithm, namely invasive weed optimization (IWO), was used for tuning and optimizing the FNN weights and biases to construct a hybrid FNN–IWO model and improve its prediction performance. The results showed that the FNN–IWO algorithm is an excellent predictor of Pu, with a value of R2 of up to 0.979. The advantage of FNN–IWO was also pointed out with the gains in accuracy of 47.9%, 49.2%, and 6.5% for root mean square error (RMSE), mean absolute error (MAE), and R2, respectively, compared with simulation using the single FNN. Finally, the performance in predicting the Pu in the function of structural parameters such as depth/width ratio, thickness of steel tube, yield stress of steel, concrete compressive strength, and slenderness ratio was investigated and discussed. Full article
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Article
Numerical Modelling of Ballistic Impact Response at Low Velocity in Aramid Fabrics
Materials 2019, 12(13), 2087; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12132087 - 28 Jun 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1247
Abstract
In this study, the effect of the impact angle of a projectile during low-velocity impact on Kevlar fabrics has been investigated using a simplified numerical model. The implementation of mesoscale models is complex and usually involves long computation time, in contrast to the [...] Read more.
In this study, the effect of the impact angle of a projectile during low-velocity impact on Kevlar fabrics has been investigated using a simplified numerical model. The implementation of mesoscale models is complex and usually involves long computation time, in contrast to the practical industry needs to obtain accurate results rapidly. In addition, when the simulation includes more than one layer of composite ply, the computational time increases even in the case of hybrid models. With the goal of providing useful and rapid prediction tools to the industry, a simplified model has been developed in this work. The model offers an advantage in the reduced computational time compared to a full 3D model (around a 90% faster). The proposed model has been validated against equivalent experimental and numerical results reported in the literature with acceptable deviations and accuracies for design requirements. The proposed numerical model allows the study of the influence of the geometry on the impact response of the composite. Finally, after a parametric study related to the number of layers and angle of impact, using a response surface methodology, a mechanistic model and a surface diagram have been presented in order to help with the calculation of the ballistic limit. Full article
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Article
A Semi-Empirical Deflection-Based Method for Crack Width Prediction in Accelerated Construction of Steel Fibrous High-Performance Composite Small Box Girder
Materials 2019, 12(6), 964; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12060964 - 22 Mar 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1673
Abstract
Accelerated construction in the form of steel–concrete composite beams is among the most efficient methods to construct highway bridges. One of the main problems with this type of composite structures, which has not yet been fully clarified in the case of continuous beam, [...] Read more.
Accelerated construction in the form of steel–concrete composite beams is among the most efficient methods to construct highway bridges. One of the main problems with this type of composite structures, which has not yet been fully clarified in the case of continuous beam, is the crack zone initiation that gradually expands through the beam width. In the current study, a semi-empirical model was proposed to predict the size of cracks in terms of small box girder deflection and intensity of load applied on the structure. To this end, a set of steel–concrete composite small box girders were constructed by the use of steel fibrous concrete and experimentally tested under different caseloads. The results were then used to create a dataset of the box girder response in terms of beam deflection and crack width. The obtained dataset was then utilized to develop a simplified formula providing the maximum width of cracks. The results showed that the cracks initiated in the hogging moment region when the load exceeded 80 kN. Additionally, it was observed that the maximum cracked zone occurred in the center of the beam due to the maximum negative moment. Moreover, the crack width of the box girder at different loading cases was compared with the test results obtained from the literature. A good agreement has been found between the proposed model and experiment results. Full article
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Article
Progressive Failure Simulation of Notched Tensile Specimen for Triaxially-Braided Composites
Materials 2019, 12(5), 833; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050833 - 12 Mar 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1634
Abstract
The mechanical characterization of textile composites is a challenging task, due to their nonuniform deformation and complicated failure phenomena. This article introduces a three-dimensional mesoscale finite element model to investigate the progressive damage behavior of a notched single-layer triaxially-braided composite subjected to axial [...] Read more.
The mechanical characterization of textile composites is a challenging task, due to their nonuniform deformation and complicated failure phenomena. This article introduces a three-dimensional mesoscale finite element model to investigate the progressive damage behavior of a notched single-layer triaxially-braided composite subjected to axial tension. The damage initiation and propagation in fiber bundles are simulated using three-dimensional failure criteria and damage evolution law. A traction–separation law has been applied to predict the interfacial damage of fiber bundles. The proposed model is correlated and validated by the experimentally measured full field strain distributions and effective strength of the notched specimen. The progressive damage behavior of the fiber bundles is studied by examining the damage and stress contours at different loading stages. Parametric numerical studies are conducted to explore the role of modeling parameters and geometric characteristics on the internal damage behavior and global measured properties of the notched specimen. Moreover, the correlations of damage behavior, global stress–strain response, and the efficiency of the notched specimen are discussed in detail. The results of this paper deliver a throughout understanding of the damage behavior of braided composites and can help the specimen design of textile composites. Full article
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