Rules of Mixture

for Elastic Properties

'Rules of Mixtures' are mathematical
expressions which give some property of
the composite in terms of the properties,
quantity and arrangement of its
constituents.

They may be based on a number of
simplifying assumptions, and their use in
design should tempered with extreme
caution!

Density
For a general composite, total volume V,
containing masses of constituents Ma, Mb, Mc,...
the composite density is
Ma  Mb  Mc  ... Ma Mb
    ...
V V V
In terms of the densities and volumes of the
constituents:

v a a v b  b v c c
    ...
V V V

hence:   Va a  Vb b  Vc c  .. Density But va / V = Va is the volume fraction of the constituent a.. For the special case of a fibre-reinforced matrix:   Vf f  Vm m  Vf f  (1  Vf ) m  Vf ( f  m )  m since Vf + Vm = 1 .

8 1 fibre volume fraction .2 0. Rule of mixtures density for glass/epoxy composites 3000 2500 f 2000 kg/m 3 1500 1000 m 500 0 0 0.4 0.6 0.

Micromechanical models for stiffness .

fibre direction transverse direction . Unidirectional ply Unidirectional fibres are the simplest arrangement of fibres to analyse. but minimum properties in the transverse direction. They provide maximum properties in the fibre direction.

E|| E2. These properties may be labelled in several different ways: E1. E . Unidirectional ply We expect the unidirectional composite to have different tensile moduli in different directions.

2. Unidirectional ply By convention. This is used to denote the fact that ply may be aligned differently from the cartesian axes x. 3’. y. the principal axes of the ply are labelled ‘1. z. 3 1 2 .

. • Perfect bonding between fibre and matrix.longitudinal tensile modulus We make the following assumptions in developing a rule of mixtures: • Fibres are uniform. • Longitudinal load produces equal strain in fibre and matrix. Unidirectional ply . parallel and continuous.

longitudinal tensile modulus • A load applied in the fibre direction is shared between fibre and matrix: F1 = F f + F m • The stresses depend on the cross-sectional areas of fibre and matrix: 1A = fAf + mAm where A (= Af + Am) is the total cross-sectional area of the ply . Unidirectional ply .

so 1 = f = m. Unidirectional ply . matrix and composite are the same.longitudinal tensile modulus • Applying Hooke’s law: E11 A = Eff Af + Emm Am where Poisson contraction has been ignored • But the strain in fibre. and: E1 A = E f Af + E m Am .

longitudinal tensile modulus Dividing through by area A: E1 = Ef (Af / A) + Em (Am / A) But for the unidirectional ply. Hence: E1 = Ef Vf + Em (1-Vf) . (Af / A) and (Am / A) are the same as volume fractions Vf and Vm = 1-Vf. Unidirectional ply .

In polymer composites. Ef >> Em. Unidirectional ply .longitudinal tensile modulus E1 = Ef Vf + Em ( 1-Vf ) Note the similarity to the rules of mixture expression for density. so E 1  Ef Vf .

4 0. Rule of mixtures tensile modulus (glass fibre/polyester) 60 tensile modulus (GPa) 50 40 UD 30 biaxial 20 CSM 10 0 0 0.6 0.6 0.2 0.8 fibre volume fraction Rule of mixtures tensile modulus (T300 carbon fibre) 200 tensile modulus (GPa) 150 UD 100 biaxial quasi-isotropic 50 0 0 0.8 fibre volume fraction .4 0.2 0.

This rule of mixtures is a good fit to experimental data (source: Hull. CUP) . Introduction to Composite Materials.

and the fibres are lumped together: L2 matrix fibre Lm Lf . a load is applied at right angles to the fibres. Unidirectional ply - transverse tensile modulus For the transverse stiffness. The model is very much simplified.

Poisson contraction effects are ignored. . Unidirectional ply - transverse tensile modulus 2 2 It is assumed that the stress is the same in each component (2 = f = m).

so the strain is given by: 2L2 = fLf + mLm so that 2 = f (Lf / L2) + m (Lm / L2) . Unidirectional ply - transverse tensile modulus 2 2 Lm Lf The total extension is 2 = f + m.

Unidirectional ply - transverse tensile modulus 2 2 Lm Lf But Lf / L2 = Vf and Lm / L2 = Vm = 1-Vf So 2 = f Vf + m (1-Vf) and 2 / E2 = f Vf / Ef + m (1-Vf) / Em .

Unidirectional ply - transverse tensile modulus 2 2 Lm Lf But 2 = f = m. so that: 1 Vf (1  Vf ) Ef E m   or E2  E 2 Ef Em EmVf  Ef (1  Vf ) .

2 0.3 0.8 fibre volume fraction Note that E2 is not particularly sensitive to Vf.4 0.1 0.5 0.6 0. If Ef >> Em. Rule of mixtures .7 0.transverse modulus (glass/epoxy) 16 14 12 10 E2 (GPa) 8 4 6 If Ef >> Em. 2 0 E2  Em / (1-Vf) 0 0. E2 is almost independent of fibre property: .

Rule of mixtures .1 0. and is virtually independent of the reinforcement.transverse modulus 16 14 carbon/epoxy 12 10 E2 (GPa) 8 6 4 glass/epoxy 2 0 0 0.7 0.3 0.6 0.2 0. .5 0.4 0.8 fibre volume fraction The transverse modulus is dominated by the matrix.

and the strain distribution is not uniform: (source: Hull. Introduction to Composite Materials.Poisson effects are not negligible. due to the simplifications made . CUP) .The transverse rule of mixtures is not particularly accurate.

Unidirectional ply - transverse tensile modulus Many theoretical studies have been undertaken to develop better micromechanical models (eg the semi- empirical Halpin-Tsai equations). A simple improvement for transverse modulus is Ef Em Em E2  where Em  Em Vf  Ef (1  Vf ) 1   m2 .

0 biaxial 0.25 random (in-plane) 0. Typically. o corrects for non-unidirectional reinforcement: o unidirectional 1. Generalised rule of mixtures for tensile modulus E =  L  o Ef Vf + Em (1-Vf ) L is a length correction factor.5 biaxial at 45o 0.375 random (3D) 0. L  1 for fibres longer than about 10 mm.2 .

5 cos4 (45o) + 0.g. o = 0. i is the proportion of all fibres with orientation i.5 cos4 (-45o) . in a ±45o bias fabric. Theoretical Orientation Correction Factor o =  icos4 i Where the summation is carried out over all the different orientations present in the reinforcement. E.

Assuming that the fibre path in a plain woven fabric is sinusoidal. a further correction factor can be derived for non-straight fibres: .

2 Theoretical length correction 0.5 0.5 2 assuming inter-fibre separation of 20 D.1 factor for glass fibre/epoxy.9 0. fibre length (mm) . Theoretical length correction factor tanh L / 2 8Gm L  1    L / 2 E f D2 ln 2R D 1 0. 0 0 0.4 0.6 0.5 1 1.7 0.3 0.8 length correction factor 0.

L > 0. the rule of mixtures for modulus in the fibre direction is: E  ηLEfVf  Em( 1  Vf ) The length correction factor (L) can be derived theoretically. . Stiffness of short fibre composites For aligned short fibre composites (difficult to achieve in polymers!). incorporating both L and o. Provided L > 1 mm.9 For composites in which fibres are not perfectly aligned the full rule of mixtures expression is used.

it is reasonable to assume that the fibres are always well above their critical length.In short fibre-reinforced thermosetting polymer composites. and that the elastic properties are determined primarily by orientation effects. The following equations give reasonably accurate estimates for the isotropic in-plane elastic constants: E  E1  E 2 3 8 5 8 G  81 E1  41 E 2 E  1 2G where E1 and E2 are the ‘UD’ values calculated earlier .

6 0.2 0.4 0. Rule of mixtures tensile modulus (glass fibre/polyester) 60 tensile modulus (GPa) 50 40 UD 30 biaxial 20 CSM 10 0 0 0.4 0.8 fibre volume fraction Rule of mixtures tensile modulus (T300 carbon fibre) 200 tensile modulus (GPa) 150 UD 100 biaxial quasi-isotropic 50 0 0 0.8 fibre volume fraction .6 0.2 0.

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Principles of Yacht Design .Rules of mixture properties for CSM-polyester laminates Larsson & Eliasson.

Rules of mixture properties for glass woven roving-polyester laminates Larsson & Eliasson. Principles of Yacht Design .

Other rules of mixtures • Shear modulus: 1 Vf (1  Vf )   G12 Gf Gm • Poisson’s ratio:  12   fVf   m (1  Vf ) • Thermal expansion: 1 1  ( f EfVf   mEm 1  Vf  ) E1  2   fVf (1   f )   m (1  Vf )(1   m )  1 12 .