Material Characterization


The mechanical response of any structure made of composite materials is dependent on the design, mechanical properties of the materials used, the processing method and the imposed load case (see Figure 1). In terms of mechanical response (vibrations) and failure of structures, the anisotropic nature of the material and the ease of crack propagation through the material are important characteristics to be studied. Additionally, the non-homogeneity and random defects that are present in the material microstructure causes materials to behave unpredictably. As an extreme example, a discontinuously reinforced composite (with flakes) and its local microstructure can be seen in Figure 1. The discrete and anisotropic nature of the material imposes several challenges in defining a stiffness and strength parameter for them.

Figure 1: The interrelationship between different domains concerning material science of composite materials