American Society of Civil Engineers

Three-Dimensional Micromechanical Finite-Element Network Model for Elastic Damage Behavior of Idealized Stone-Based Composite Materials

by Qingli Dai, A.M.ASCE, (Assistant Professor, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan Technological Univ., 1400 Townsend Dr., Houghton, MI 49931-1295. E-mail:

Journal of Engineering Mechanics, Vol. 137, No. 6, June 2011, pp. 410-421, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: This paper presents a three-dimensional (3D) micromechanical finite-element (FE) network model for predicting elastic damage behavior of the idealized stone-based materials. Stone-based composite materials have multiphase structures: an aggregate (or stone) skeleton, a binding medium, fillers, and air voids. Numerical simulation of the micromechanical behavior of the idealized stone-based materials was accomplished by using a microframe element network model that incorporated the mechanical load transfer between adjacent particles. The elastic stiffness matrix of this special element was obtained from an approximate elastic stress-strain analysis of straight cement between particle pairs. A damage-coupled microframe element was then formulated with bilinear damage laws, including elastic and softening behavior based on the equivalent fracture release energy. Indirect tension and compression simulations were conducted with developed FE models on the idealized digital samples of the stone-based materials. These simulations predicted the internal microdamage distribution and global fracture behavior of these samples, which qualitatively agree with the laboratory observations. The results indicate that the developed FE models have the capability to predict the typical loading-related damage behavior observed from the stone-based materials.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Finite element method
Three-dimensional models
Composite materials

Author Keywords:
Stone-based materials
Finite-element method
Damage mechanics
Three-dimensional models