Multi-scale damage modelling in a ceramic matrix composite using a finite-element microstructure meshfree methodology

Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2016 Jul 13;374(2071):20150276. doi: 10.1098/rsta.2015.0276.


The problem of multi-scale modelling of damage development in a SiC ceramic fibre-reinforced SiC matrix ceramic composite tube is addressed, with the objective of demonstrating the ability of the finite-element microstructure meshfree (FEMME) model to introduce important aspects of the microstructure into a larger scale model of the component. These are particularly the location, orientation and geometry of significant porosity and the load-carrying capability and quasi-brittle failure behaviour of the fibre tows. The FEMME model uses finite-element and cellular automata layers, connected by a meshfree layer, to efficiently couple the damage in the microstructure with the strain field at the component level. Comparison is made with experimental observations of damage development in an axially loaded composite tube, studied by X-ray computed tomography and digital volume correlation. Recommendations are made for further development of the model to achieve greater fidelity to the microstructure. This article is part of the themed issue 'Multiscale modelling of the structural integrity of composite materials'.

Keywords: cellular automata; composites; damage; finite element; multi-scale modelling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't