This paper addresses the issue of creating a lattice model suitable for design purposes and capable of quantitative estimates of the mechanical properties of a disordered microstructure. The lack of resemblance between idealized lattice models and real materials has limited these models to the realm of qualitative analysis. Two procedures based on the same methodology are presented in the two-dimensional case to achieve the rigorous mapping of the geometrical and the elastic properties of a disordered polycrystalline microstructure into a spring lattice. The theory is validated against finite elements models and literature data of NiAl. The statistical analysis of 900 models provided the effective Young's modulus and Poisson ratio as function of the lattice size. The lattice models that were created have in average the same Young's modulus of the real microstructure. However, the Poisson's ratio could not be matched in the two-dimensional case. The spring constants of the lattices from this technique follow a Gaussian distribution, which intrinsically reflects the mechanical and geometrical disorder of the microscale. The detailed knowledge of the microstructure and the Voronoi tessellation necessary to implement this technique are supplied by modern laboratory equipments and software. As an illustrative example of lattice application, damage simulations of several biaxial loading schemes are briefly reported to show the effectiveness of discrete models towards elastic anisotropy induced by damage and damage localization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-36
Number of pages20
JournalMechanics of Materials
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Mechanics of Materials


Dive into the research topics of 'Lattice models of polycrystalline microstructures: A quantitative approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this