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DOI 10.1007/s00707-013-1033-9

multiple heterogeneities

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Abstract The effective material properties of functionally graded materials are predicted using a modified

Mori–Tanaka and a self-consistent method. The proposed micromechanics model accounts for both multi-phase

heterogeneity and a number of layers. The influence of geometries and distinct elastic material properties of

each constituent and voids on the effective elastic properties of FGM is investigated. Numerical examples

of different functionally graded materials are presented. The predicted elastic properties obtained from the

current model agree well with experimental results from the literature.

1 Introduction

Recently, functionally graded materials (FGMs) are gaining attention and are being proposed for many applica-

tions in a variety of fields as a result of their unique structure and multi-functionality [1–3]. FGMs are material

systems with material properties that vary in specific directions. Such a gradation helps the material to have

the desirable material properties of each constituent at a specific material point. For example, ceramic/metal

FGMs have the important material properties of metal, such as fracture toughness and high thermal conductiv-

ity, without losing the important properties of a ceramic, such as hardness and thermal protection [4–6]. The

material gradation can be accomplished by continuously, or gradually, varying its microstructures from one

end to the other. Most research studies on FGM have been focused on studying the wave propagation in func-

tionally graded materials [7,8], fracture properties of functionally graded interface layers [9,10], and fracture

behavior of FGM subjected to dynamic [11–13] and thermomechanical loading [6,12,14]. The fracture studies

concluded that the material inhomogeneity does not affect the inverse square singularity and only affects the

stress fields far from the crack tip [12,15,16]. A detailed review on the performance of FGM can be seen in

the literature [17].

To accurately model FGM, knowing the effective or bulk material properties as a function of individual

material properties and geometry especially at micromechanics level is essential. In the last few years, different

models have been proposed to estimate the effective properties of FGMs with respect to reinforcement volume

fractions. Weng [18] investigated the effective bulk moduli of two functionally graded composites by means

of change of the dependent variable. Rahman and Chakraborty [19] proposed a stochastic micromechanical

model for predicting probabilistic characteristics of three-phase FGMs. Pindera et al. [20] used a computational

micromechanical model, the generalized method of cells, to predict local stress in the fiber and matrix phases

of FGMs. Fang et al. [21] developed a micromechanics-based elastodynamic model to predict the dynamic

behavior of two-phase functionally graded materials.

J. Yu · A. Kidane (B)

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of South Carolina,

300 Main Street, Columbia, SC 29208, USA

E-mail: kidanea@cec.sc.edu

Tel.: 803-777-2502

J. Yu, A. Kidane

Zuiker [22] reviewed the micromechanical modeling of FGMs and concluded that the self-consistent

method (SCM) provided good estimates with minimal effort, and with no need for empirical fitting of parame-

ters for the silicon carbide (SiC)–carbon (C) FGMs. Gasik [23] studied the efficiency of the simplest micro-

mechanical models to provide the most accurate estimates of FGM components with an arbitrary nonlinear

three-dimensional orientation of phases. Reiter and Dvorak [24] used the transition function with Mori–Tanaka

method (MTM) and SCM to predict the thermomechanical properties in C/SiC FGMs. Yin et al. [25,26] used

MTM, with the effect of particle distance interactions, to predict the elastic and thermoelastic properties of

TiC/Ni3 Al and Mo/SiO2 FGMs. Similar models are available for two-phase functionally graded materials

that contain two different material systems. The actual functionally graded materials can have more than two

compositions or constituents, and a model that accounts for multiple heterogeneities is essential.

In the present study, a modified micromechanics model is proposed and extended to estimate the effective

elastic properties of FGMs containing multiple heterogeneities with an arbitrary number of coating layers.

Different numerical examples are considered and compared with experimental results from the literature.

2 Problem formulation

Unlike traditional microstructures, in FGMs the material properties are spatially varying, which is not trivial

for a micromechanics model. However, functionally graded materials can be idealized as a combination of a

number of discrete layers of microstructures, where each of the layers has a defined microstructure that is a

function of the volume fraction of the constituents of the material. From a micromechanics modeling point of

view, these discrete graded layers can be categorized in three distinct zones.

Let us consider a functionally graded material, where heterogeneity A (A could be more than one material)

with different geometry (short fibers, platelets, spheres, etc.) is reinforced in a base material B, and the volume

fraction of A is increasing from one end to the other end as shown in Fig. 1. It must be mentioned here that

unlike most nanocomposites where the particles are reinforced in a liquid polymer, typically metal/ceramic

functionally graded materials are fabricated through powder metallurgy of two or more powders. In this case,

both the phases can serve as a matrix, and in most cases, the phase changes from one end to the other end

as the volume fraction of the other phase increases. As shown in the figure, zone 1 is the region where the

heterogeneities, phase A, are embedded in matrix B, called B dominant zone. On the other hand, zone 3 is the

region where the matrix phase completely changed and heterogeneity B is now embedded in matrix A, called

A dominant zone. Zone 2 is the region where the matrix phase is the transition zone and hence the dominant

phase cannot be clearly defined, and is referred to as the transition zone. Each layer in zone 1 and zone 3 can,

in principle, be modeled similarly using a micromechanics approach as the two phases are distinct enough to

satisfy the main assumption.

Functionally graded materials

The main challenge is dealing with the transition zone, where the matrix and the reinforcement are not

sufficiently distinguishable. Recently, a different method has been proposed to overcome this problem and

model the transition zone. Hirano et al. [27] suggest the use of a transition function combining the two

solutions obtained from zone 1 and zone 3, estimating the effective elastic properties in the transition zone

using the fuzzy logic approach.

Consider a functionally graded material discussed above with n discretely graded layers through the

thickness direction, with normalized thickness 0 ≤ x ≤ 1. In each layer, reinforcements are assumed to

be perfectly distributed and randomly oriented within a two-dimensional plane. Hence, each layer can be

considered as a two-dimensional microstructure. For any material points in any layer from the range of 0 ≤

x ≤ x1 (zone 1), multiple heterogeneities or reinforcements (phases, k = 1, 2, . . . , m) are embedded in a base

material (phase 0), and the overall volume fraction of the base material (c0 ) and the total volume fraction of the

heterogeneity (cT −H = c1 + c2 + · · · + ck ) can be determined easily. Similarly, for any material points in any

layer in the range of x2 ≤ x ≤ 1 (zone 3), the overall volume fraction of the base and the reinforcement can be

easily calculated, in a manner identical to zone 1, by switching the base material and reinforcement’s phases.

Whichever constituent has the highest volume fraction can be considered as a base material, and the others

can be considered as reinforcements. In the above two cases, the average stress field, average strain field, and

the elastic modulus of each layer in this range, subjected to uniform far-field loading, can be calculated by the

micromechanical model proposed and discussed in the next sections.

For material points contained in the layers in the range of x1 ≤ x ≤ x2 (zone 2), however, the heterogeneities

and base material cannot be clearly distinguished, and hence, the exact volume fraction of each constituent

cannot be determined directly. In this zone, a linear phenomenological transition function introduced by Reiter

and Dvorak [24] is adopted.

The constitutive equation for any phase k in the material system described above can be expressed as

σ k = L k εk (1)

or in inverse form

ε k = Mk σ k (2)

where σk and εk are the stress and strain tensors for the kth heterogeneity, and L k and Mk are the fourth-rank

effective stiffness and compliance tensors for the kth heterogeneity, respectively. The bulk (effective) elastic

moduli for composites containing multiple heterogeneities can be defined in terms of average stress and strain

of composites as

σ = L ε (3)

and

ε = M σ (4)

where • represents the effective properties of composites and • = V1 V (•)dV represents an average over

a representative volume element. The effective elastic stiffness tensor of composites containing multiple

heterogeneities can be obtained from the average loading field, which is described in the following sections.

2.2 Modified Mori–Tanaka method (MTM) for FGM with multiple heterogeneities and multiple layers

Generally, when using the Mori–Tanaka method, it is assumed that a single ellipsoidal heterogeneity is embed-

ded within a homogeneous matrix domain, whose strain field has been perturbed by other heterogeneities in

the system. The solution, being the effective material properties for composites containing arbitrary ellipsoidal

heterogeneities, can be obtained using the continuum-averaged stress and strain fields [28–31]. For two-phase

composites, containing a matrix phase (0) and a particle phase (1), the effective fourth-order elastic stiffness

tensor, L, can be expressed as [31]

L = L(0) : {I + c1 (S(1) − I) : (A(1) − S(1) )−1 } : {I + c1 S(1) : (A(1) − S(1) )−1 }−1 (5)

J. Yu, A. Kidane

where

A(1) is the local strain concentration tensor for the particles, L(0) and L(1) are the fourth-rank elastic stiffness

tensors for the matrix and particles, c1 is the particle volume fraction, S(1) is the fourth-rank Eshelby [32] tensor

for the particles, and I is the fourth-rank identity tensor. Here, a colon “:” is used to denote the tensor double

dot product. The Eshelby tensor (S(1) ) accounts for the influence of the aspect ratio/geometry of the particles

on the local strain field. Eshelby tensors for specific reinforcement shapes (spheres, platelets, fibers, etc.) are

readily available in the literature [30,31]. For FGMs, the effective elastic property for each layer through the

thickness direction can be estimated by employing Eq. (5) with either normalized thickness 0 ≤ x ≤ 1 or

volume fractions of phase (0) and phase (1).

Consider an infinite domain (D) that contains multiple heterogeneities. The effective strain and stress in

the domain D can be written as

m

ε D = c(k) εk + (1 − cT ) ε0 , (7)

k=1

m

σ D = c(k) σ k + (1 − cT ) σ 0 (8)

k=1

where m is the number of heterogeneities, c(k) is the volume fraction of the kth heterogeneity, and cT is the

total volume fraction of all heterogeneities and can be given as

m

cT = c(k) . (9)

k=1

Let the far-field strain and stress be denoted by ε∞ and σ ∞ , respectively, and note that

σ ∞ = L : ε∞ and ε∞ = M : σ ∞ (10.1, 2)

where L and M are elastic stiffness and compliance tensor, respectively. In this study, MTM and SCM are used

to evaluate the effective elastic modulus of the FGMs within each layer in terms of phase volume fractions

and the respective phase properties. Each layer is considered as a representative volume of composite material

subjected to certain uniform overall stress and strain.

The strain and stress fields for kth heterogeneity can be given as

(0) ∞ ∗k

σ k = L : {ε + (S(k) − I) : ε } (12)

where S(k) is the fourth-rank Eshelby tensor, which is common to the heterogeneity of the kth heterogeneity

and A(k) is the local strain concentration tensor of the kth heterogeneity and can be given as

m

ε D = ε∞ + c(k) S(k) : (A(k) − S(k) )−1 : ε∞ , (15)

k=1

m

(0) ∞ −1 ∞

σ D = L : ε + c(k) (S(k) − I) : (A(k) − S(k) ) :ε . (16)

k=1

Functionally graded materials

−1

m

m

(0) −1 −1

L=L : I+ c(k) (S(k) − I ) : (A(k) − S(k) ) : I+ c(k) S(k) : (A(k) − S(k) ) . (17)

k=1 k=1

The above equation can be used to determine the elastic properties of composites with multiple heterogeneities

but does not account for more than one interface layer. This solution is extended for functionally graded

materials that are graded through the thickness direction, as discussed below.

Consider a composite with m types of distinct ellipsoidal heterogeneities (k = 1, 2, . . . , m) in the matrix (0),

where each heterogeneity consists of n layers (αk = 1, 2, . . . , n k ) graded in the direction of thickness, having

a normalized thickness 0 ≤ z ≤ 1. Each heterogeneity has a distinct elastic property, shape, and orientation

distribution. The strain and stress fields at any location z with heterogeneities, with arbitrary number of layers,

can be given by

α

εαk k = ε∞ + S(k) : ε∗k k , (18)

∗k αk

σ αk k =L (0)

: {ε ∞

+ (S(k) − I) : ε } (19)

α

where the homogenizing eigenstrain (ε∗k k ) is

αk (α )

ε∗k = (A(k)k − S(k) )−1 : ε∞ (20)

(αk )

where A(k) is the local strain concentration tensor for the αk th layer of the kth heterogeneity (αk =

1, 2, . . . , n k , k = 1, 2, . . . , m) of each FGM layer through the thickness direction and can be given as

(α ) (α )

A(k)k = (L(0) − L(k)k )−1 : L(0) . (21)

(α )

Here, L(k)k is the fourth-rank elastic stiffness tensor for the αk th layer of the kth heterogeneity for FGM layers

through the thickness direction. By substituting Eqs. (30–32) into Eqs. (7–8), the average strain and stress

fields over the infinite domain can be obtained as

⎡ ⎤

m nk

(α )

ε D = ε∞ + ⎣ c(k)αk S(k) : (A(k)k − S(k) )−1 ⎦ : ε∞ , (22)

k=1 αk =1

⎧ ⎡ ⎤ ⎫

⎨

m

nk ⎬

⎣ (α )

σ D = L(0) : ε∞ + c(k) αk (S(k) − I) : (A(k)k − S(k) )−1 ⎦ : ε∞ . (23)

⎩ ⎭

k=1 αk =1

The overall elasticity tensor, L, for a composite containing m distinct types of heterogeneities (k = 1, 2, . . . , m)

with each having an arbitrary number of layers (n k ), in a matrix phase (0) (the complete equation is given in

the “Appendix Eq. (A1)”) can be expressed as

(α )

L = f(L(0) , S(k) , A(k)k , c(k) αk ). (24)

Here c(k) αk is the volume fraction of the αk th layer of the kth heterogeneity, and L and L(0) are, respectively,

the effective elastic property and matrix phase elastic stiffness in each FGM layer through the normalized

thickness direction, 0 ≤ x ≤ 1. Unlike in the case of two-phase formulation given by Eq. (17), overall elasticity

tensor, L, given by Eq. (24), is a function of multiple material inhomogeneity, c(k) , and number of layers, αk .

Once the overall elasticity tensor for each layer of FGMs, L, is determined, the relevant elastic moduli can be

determined using an orientation averaging scheme. A detailed discussion along with computational procedures

of an orientation averaging scheme is available in the paper by Yu et al. [33–35].

J. Yu, A. Kidane

2.3 Modified self-consistent method (SCM) for FGM with multiple heterogeneities and multiple layers

Generally, when using the self-consistent method, it is assumed that a single ellipsoidal heterogeneity is

embedded within a homogeneous matrix with an unknown effective stiffness tensor, L ([30,31,36]). It is easy

to prove that the effective elastic tensor given by the SCM for FGM layers through the normalized thickness

direction, 0 ≤ x ≤ 1, can be obtained from the MTM model by setting L(0) = L. Unlike MTM, however, in the

SCM model, the effective elastic tensor of the homogenized matrix is unknown, and an iterative procedure is

required. In this model, first an initial effective elastic tensor will be assumed, and with an iteration scheme, the

final tensor will be determined. Suppose that the effective homogeneous medium with elastic stiffness tensor,

L, contains m distinct types of ellipsoidal heterogeneities (k = 1, 2, . . . , m), each consisting of n k layers

(αk = 1, 2, . . . , n k ) in a matrix phase (0). Then, the overall elasticity tensor, L (the complete formulation is

given in Appendix Eq. (A3)) can be expressed as

(α )

L = f(L, S(k) , A(k)k , c(k) αk ). (25)

For arbitrary distributions of reinforcements, the symmetric fourth-rank stiffness tensors calculated using Eqs.

(5), (17), (24), and (25) will be generally anisotropic. For the case of aligned, two-dimensional randomly

oriented, and three-dimensional randomly oriented heterogeneities, the calculated elasticity tensor for each

layer of FGMs will display orthotropic, transversely isotropic, and isotropic material symmetries, respectively.

In the present study, the elastic moduli for each layer of FGMs containing three-dimensionally oriented

heterogeneities will be calculated.

The modified micromechanics model developed and discussed above is implemented for FGMs with discrete

gradation, where each of the layers in the gradation is considered as a composite containing multiple hetero-

geneities. In all numerical examples of FGMs, such as silica spheres, hollow cenospheres, and voids considered,

all heterogeneities are assumed to be well dispersed in the base material and perfectly bonded to the other

phases. Table 1 contains a summary of relevant mechanical properties of materials used in the calculation. In

all calculations, the FGMs’ elastic properties were normalized by the base material elastic property, E 1 , in

order to clearly illustrate the effect of the heterogeneities.

First, the effective elastic properties of FGMs containing particles with distinct elastic moduli are determined

using the proposed model. As discussed in the “Introduction” section, the volume fraction between the particles

and the base material is distinct in zone 1 and zone 3. On the other hand, in the transition zone (zone 2), the

base material and the particles are not well defined as the two phases are smeared with each other. In this case,

zone 2 is considered separately as a new material system where the gradation starts from the material property

obtained at the end of zone 1 and ends at the material property obtained at the beginning of zone 3. Since

these two end values are known, the initial (0 % reinforcement) and the final (100 % reinforcement) material

properties for this particular zone are known. The volume fraction of the reinforcement between these two

extreme positions is estimated using a phenomenological transition function originally developed by Reiter

and Dvorak [24]. It is suggested that, by making the transition zone larger, the sudden jump in the elastic

properties between zone 1 and zone 3 can be reduced. The lower and upper boundaries of the volume fraction

of the particles with respect to the base materials for zone 2 were set to be 40 and 60 % of volume, respectively.

base materials

Solid silica sphere/epoxy Ds = N/A E s = 73.5 [37]

E m = 2.2 [37]

Void/epoxy Dv = N/A Ev = 0

E m = 2.2 [37]

Hollow cenosphere/polyester Ds = 127µm, tw = 12.7µm [38] E s = 175.0 [38]

E m = 3.5 [38]

Functionally graded materials

Fig. 2 Effect of elastic properties of individual material (E 2 /E 1 ) on predicted effective elastic moduli of FGMs

To understand the effect of the individual elastic properties on the effective elastic properties of the FGM,

different ratios of elastic material properties were considered. Figure 2 shows a plot of the predicted normalized

effective elastic moduli (E e f f /E 1 ) of FGM, for different E 2 /E 1 ratio, as a function of the volume fraction

of the reinforcement. The effective elastic moduli of FGM for all E 2 /E 1 ratios are increased as the volume

fraction of the reinforcement increases, and linearly in the case of zone 1 and zone 3. For a relatively low volume

fraction of heterogeneity (phase 1, cs ≤ 0.4), the difference in elastic properties between the heterogeneity

and the base material does not affect the effective elastic properties very much. For a higher volume fraction

of the heterogeneity (phase 3, 0.6 ≤ cs ), however, the effective elastic properties increase as the ratio between

the two material elastic properties increases. Furthermore, there is a jump in the effective elastic properties and

a trained change from zone 1 to zone 2 and from zone 2 to zone 3. The jump in effective elastic moduli on the

transition zone is significant for a material with a large difference in elastic material property (E 2 /E 1 1).

Thus, the effective elastic moduli strongly depend on the volume fraction and material properties of each

constituent.

To investigate the effect of reinforcement geometries on the effective elastic moduli of FGMs, different geome-

tries of reinforcements such as a) fibers, b) platelets, and c) spheres are considered. In this calculation, the ratio

of elastic properties between the reinforcement and the base material is set to be constant at E 2 /E 1 = 20. The

lower and upper boundaries of the volume fractions of the reinforcement for zone 2 were set to 40 and 60 %,

respectively. Aspect ratios, AR = 100, for fibers (length/diameter) and platelets (diameter/thickness) were used.

As shown in Fig. 3, the elastic moduli for FGM containing randomly oriented fibers were higher than those

produced by the spheres or the platelets for the same volume contents of reinforcements. It must be noted that

the micromechanics model was not able to predict the effective elastic moduli for FGM containing fibers in

the range of high volume fraction (0.75 ≤ c f ) due to a violation of the basic assumption of micromechanics.

Cohen and Ishai [37] experimentally investigated the elastic properties of FGMs that contained solid silica

spheres and an epoxy matrix including voids. To compare our model with the experimental result, the effective

elastic properties for two-phase FGMs containing solid silica spheres in an epoxy matrix are determined.

Figure 4 shows a comparison of normalized effective elastic moduli (E e f f /E m ) with the experimental result

[37], and numerical results obtained using the current model, as a function of the volume fraction of solid

J. Yu, A. Kidane

Fig. 3 Effects of geometry (fibers, platelets, spheres) of individual materials on predicted effective elastic moduli of FGMs

Fig. 4 Measured [37] and predicted effective elastic moduli for silica/epoxy FGM

silica spheres. The micromechanical solutions reasonably matched with the mean experimental result of the

entire volume fractions of the particles.

Similarly, an effective elastic property was estimated for FGM that contains voids in an epoxy matrix.

Figure 5 shows a comparison between effective elastic moduli that were experimentally measured and numer-

ically predicted, using the modified MTM and SCM models, as a function of the void volume fraction. In

contrast to the previous case involving solid silica spheres, the effective elastic moduli decreased with increas-

ing volume fraction of voids. The predicted moduli obtained from the current model correlated reasonably

well with the experimental data from the experiment [37].

Similarly, the modified MTM was used to estimate the elastic moduli for an epoxy matrix/solid silica spheres

FGM with voids. Table 2 shows the comparison between the current predicted results and experimentally

measured effective elastic moduli for the FGM as a function of the volume fraction of both solid silica spheres

and voids. The predicted result from the current micromechanical solution was matched with the experimental

results [37] with an accuracy of roughly from 2 to 15 %.

3.3.2 Linearly varying FGM made of matrix reinforced with hollow cenospheres

Parameswaran and Shukla [38] fabricated FGM consisting of polyester matrix and hollow cenospheres

with =127 µm(Ds ) diameter and 12.7 µm wall thickness (tw ). The reinforcements have a thin-walled “egg-

Functionally graded materials

Fig. 5 Measured [37] and predicted effective elastic moduli for void/epoxy FGM

fraction (%) fraction (%) (E eff /E m ) (E eff /E m [37])

12 30.5 0.66 0.679

15.75 10 1.15 1.111

18.25 38 0.57 0.6665

22.25 25 1.13 0.9207

23.25 21.5 1.07 1.017

23.5 20 1.17 1.037

26.25 31.25 0.81 0.88

26.75 10 1.73 1.6

27.75 6.5 1.9 1.72

33.25 14 1.48 1.392

Fig. 6 Measured [26] and predicted effective elastic moduli for hollow cenosphere/polyester FGM (image from Parameswaran

and Shukla [38])

shell” type of architecture. The wall-thickness-to-diameter ratio, tw /Ds , is about 0.1. Figure 6 shows an optical

micrograph of hollow cenospheres in a polyester matrix and experimentally measured normalized elastic mod-

uli as a function of volume fraction of the cenospheres [38]. The tensile moduli increase with increases in

hollow cenospheres’ volume fraction as shown in Fig. 6. This suggests that the very thin silica outer wall

J. Yu, A. Kidane

Fig. 7 Effect of cenosphere wall-thickness ratio (tw /Ds ) on predicted effective elastic moduli for hollow cenosphere/polyester

FGM

Fig. 8 Measured [4] and predicted effective elastic moduli for TiB/Ti FGM (image from Hill et al. [4])

contributes to the effective FGM properties. In our micromechanics model, the hollow cenospheres were sim-

ulated using a two-layer system, where the inner layer was ascribed essentially as voids with null material

properties and the outer layer considered as a solid layer of silica. Figure 6 shows the effective elastic moduli

of the FGM, both experimental and numerical, as functions of the hollow cenospheres’ volume fraction. The

solution from the current micromechanical model reasonably agrees with the experimentally measured value.

On the other hand, effective elastic properties were predicted for FGM with cenospheres having differ-

ent wall-thickness-to-diameter ratios (tw /Ds ) in a polyester matrix as shown in Fig. 7. Three distinct wall-

thickness-to-diameter ratios, tw /Ds ≈ 0.5, 0.3, and 0.1, were considered for comparison. The effective elastic

modulus for FGM that contains cenospheres with thick wall-thickness-to-diameter ratio (tw /Ds ≈ 0.5) was

higher than that of FGM containing reinforcement with thin wall-thickness-to-diameter ratio (tw /Ds ≈ 0.1).

Again, this supports the argument that the reinforcement outer wall thickness significantly contributes to the

overall FGM properties.

3.3.3 FGM composed of titanium monoboride (TiB) and titanium (Ti) materials

Hill et al. [4] investigated and measured elastic properties for an FGM composed of ceramic (titanium mono-

boride (TiB2 )) and metal (titanium (Ti)). Figure 8 shows a plot of an optical micrograph of TiB/Ti FGM and

Functionally graded materials

Fig. 9 Measured [39] and predicted effective elastic moduli for Ni3Al/TiC FGM

experimentally measured normalized elastic moduli as a function of volume fraction of the TiB [4]. As can

be seen in the figure, experimentally measured effective stiffness for the FGM increases with an increase in

the volume fraction of TiB. In the current model, the metal was considered as a base material and the ceramic

as reinforcement. It should be mentioned that as shown in the microscopic image in Fig. 8, TiB appears in

different shapes, such as spheres and fibers. In this case the FGM was modeled with metal (Ti) as the base

material, reinforced with different shapes (i.e., fibers, platelets, and spheres) of ceramic (TiB). The aspect

ratio (length-to-diameter ratio, AR) for fibers was 100 and for the platelets 100 and 1000. Here is only shown

the case for composites containing a single heterogeneity with different geometries such as fibers, platelets,

and spheres rather than multiple heterogeneities problems (combination of heterogeneities in matrix) due to

the fact that curve A (fibers, AR = 100) almost reached the upper bound (Voigt). On the other hand, curve

D (spheres) reached the lower bound (Reuss). Thus, the results for the case of a combination of fibers and

platelets (or spheres) would be lower than for the upper bound (fibers only).

It is clearly visible that the errors between the model and test results are large. It must be clear that

the volume fractions considered in the theoretical model are the volume fractions of each constituent prior

to sintering. The FGM is fabricated through powder metallurgy using high temperature hot press [4]. Due to

material diffusion across the layers during high temperature sintering (about 1200◦ C), there is a great possibility

that the volume fraction changes from the presintered value across the thickness. Unfortunately, there is no

experimental method to measure the volume fraction of each phase after fabrication. Our model result suggests

that the volume fraction of the TiB could be higher than the one measured prior to sintering specially at lower

end. Though it is out of the scope of this paper, finding the accurate volume fraction of each constituent of the

as-fabricated material is an interesting subject that would be a great area for future research work.

3.3.4 FGM composed of nickel aluminide (Ni3Al) and titanium carbide (TiC)

Zhai et al. [39] investigated the variation of the Young’s moduli with the volume fraction of titanium carbide

(TiC) in the Ni3 Al/TiC FGM. Figure 9 shows a plot of the experimentally measured elastic moduli for Ni3 Al/TiC

FGM as a function of the TiC volume fraction. As shown in the plot, the effective FGM moduli increased with

increasing TiC volume fraction. For the micromechanics model, nickel aluminide was considered as a base

material and titanium carbide as reinforcement. The predicted micromechanics solutions matched reasonably

well with measured data from the literature.

4 Conclusions

The effective elastic properties of functionally graded materials (FGMs) containing multiple distinct hetero-

geneities are predicted using a micromechanical model. The model, based on the modified versions of the

J. Yu, A. Kidane

Mori–Tanaka method and self-consistent method, is developed for predicting elastic properties of FGMs con-

taining multiple distinct heterogeneities and multiple numbers of coating layers. The effect of the individual

elastic properties and geometries on the effective elastic properties of the FGM is investigated. Different

numerical examples are considered and verified with experimental results from the literature. The numerical

examples for different FGMs were in reasonably good agreement with experimental results from the literature.

It is found that the effective elastic stiffness is highly dependent on the individual constituent elastic properties

and geometries of the reinforcements.

Acknowledgments The financial support of the National Science Foundation under Grant No EEC-1342379 is gratefully

acknowledged.

Appendix

The overall elasticity tensor, L, using the Mori–Tanaka method for a composite containing m distinct types of

heterogeneities (k = 1, 2, . . . , m) and each having an arbitrary number of layers (n k ) in a matrix (0) can be

expressed as

⎧ ⎡ ⎤⎫

⎨ m nk ⎬

⎣ (αk )

L = L(0) : I + c(k) αk (S(k) − I ) : (A(k) − S(k) )−1 ⎦

⎩ ⎭

k=1 αk =1

⎧ ⎡ ⎤⎫−1

⎨

m

nk ⎬

⎣ (α )

: I+ c(k) αk S(k) : (A(k)k − S(k) )−1 ⎦ (A1)

⎩ ⎭

k=1 αk =1

(α )

where c(k) αk is the volume fraction of the αk th layer of the kth heterogeneity, and A(k)k is the global strain

concentration tensor for the αk th layer of the kth heterogeneity (αk = 1, 2, . . . , n k , k = 1, 2, . . . , m) and can

be given as

Similarly, the overall elasticity tensor, L, using the self-consistent method can be given as

⎧ ⎡ ⎤⎫

⎨ m nk ⎬

⎣ (α )

L=L : I+ c(k) αk (S(k) − I ) : (A(k)k − S(k) )−1 ⎦

⎩ ⎭

k=1 αk =1

−1

m

nk

(α ) −1

: I+ c(k) αk S(k) : (A(k)k − S(k) ) (A3)

k=1 αk=1

(α )

where A(k)k is the global strain concentration tensor for the αk th layer of the kth heterogeneity (αk =

1, 2, . . . , n k , k = 1, 2, . . . , m) and can be given as

(αk )

A(k) = (L − L (α k ) −1

(k) ) : L. (A4)

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