Tuesday, 12 October 2004 - 9:15 AM

This presentation is part of : Mechanics of Fiber Networks and Fibrous Materials

Elasticity of planar random fiber networks

Xiangfa Wu and Yuris A. Dzenis. Department of Engineering Mechanics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, W317 Nebraska Hall, 900N 17th Street, Lincoln, NE 68588-0526

We study the constitutive behavior of fiber mats made of planar random fiber networks. The networks are modeled by random deposition of linearly elastic straight fibers within a region. The fibers are assumed to have uniform length and to be rigidly bonded at contacts. Under the action of small external loading, the deformation of the fiber network is elastic and consists of fiber bending, extension, compression, and torsion based on experimental observations. Based on the elastic analysis of a fiber segment in a representative volume element (RVE), the effective stiffness of the fiber network is derived by the equivalency of the strain energy dissipated by the fiber network due to microscopic deformations to that dissipated by the continuum, in accordance with micromechanics principles. Effects of fiber aspect ratio, fiber concentration, and fiber orientation on the network effective stiffness are further discussed. The present model is applicable for the predication of mechanical properties, scaling analysis, and optimization of fiber networks.

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