FEA Homogenisation of Multiphase Materials
Finite Element Analysis | Characterisation of Materials | Homogenisation
Modelling large structures containing multiple phases over much shorter length scales is often very difficult. The computational demands can be prohibitive (and the results fidelity only marginally improved) so in many cases a more tractable method involves homogenisation of material properties. Composite materials with fine-scale features are one example where it's often sufficient to specify 'homogenised' or 'smeared/continuum' properties in a finite element material model.
In the images shown, the two phases of a Mussel shell are clearly identifiable from the X-ray tomography scan. These separate phases were then reconstructed using the ScanIP software tools available from Simpleware. Using a ScanIP bolt-on module (+FE Module) the two phases were meshed. Using an additional bolt-on module (+SOLID Module) the homogenised stiffness tensor for the composite structure was calculated.
These data were subsequently used to model a much larger section of the Mussel shell, significantly reducing model run-times and hardware requirements.