From ordered to disordered: The effect of microstructure on composite mechanical performance

L. B. Borkowski, K. C. Liu, Aditi Chattopadhyay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The microstructural variation in fiber-reinforced composites has a direct relationship with its local and global mechanical performance. When micromechanical modeling techniques for unidirectional composites assume a uniform and periodic arrangement of fibers, the bounds and validity of this assumption must be quantified. The goal of this research is to quantify the influence of microstructural randomness on effective homogeneous response and local inelastic behavior. The results indicate that microstructural progression from ordered to disordered decreases the tensile modulus by 5%, increases the shear modulus by 10%, and substantially increases the magnitude of local inelastic fields. The experimental and numerical analyses presented in this paper show the importance of microstructural variability when small length scale phenomena drive global response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-193
Number of pages33
JournalComputers, Materials and Continua
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013


  • Computational mechanics
  • Material uncertainty
  • Mechanical property variation
  • Micromechanics
  • Microstructures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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