||CMC: Computers, Materials & Continua, Vol. 42, No. 1, pp. 1-23, 2014
||Full length paper in PDF format. Size = 2,126,867 bytes
||Carbon nanotubes,Wavy tubes, Embedded element technique, Finite
element analysis (FEA), Continuum mechanics.
||This paper presents a comparison of different finite element approaches
to modelling polymers reinforced with wavy, hollow fibres with the aim of predicting
the effective elastic stiffness tensors of the composites. The waviness of the
tubes is described by sinusoidal models with different amplitude-to-wavelength parameters.
These volume elements are discretized by structured volume meshes onto
which fibres in the form of independently meshed beam, shell or volume elements
are superimposed. An embedded element technique is used to link the two sets
of meshes. Reference solutions are obtained from conventional three-dimensional
volume models of the same phase arrangements. Periodicity boundary conditions
are applied in all cases and fibre volume fractions of up to a few percent are considered.
The results indicate that embedded element techniques using shell elements
for discretizing the fibres may provide an attractive combination of accuracy, computational
cost and flexibility for modelling composites reinforced by arbitrarily,
three-dimensionally curved nanotubes.