Hierarchical cellular designs for load-bearing biocomposite beams and plates

Geeta Mehta

Associate Professor

mehtagee@umich.edu

3044 NCRC, Building 28

T: (734) 763-3957

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R Burgueno, MJ Quagliata, AK Mohanty, G Mehta, LT Drzal, and M Misra (2005)

MATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING A-STRUCTURAL MATERIALS PROPERTIES MICROSTRUCTURE AND PROCESSING, 390(1-2):178-187.

Scrutiny into the composition of natural, or biological materialsconvincingly reveals that high material and structural efficiency can beattained, even with moderate-quality constituents, by hierarchicaltopologies, i.e., successively organized material levels or layers. Thepresent study demonstrates that biologically inspired hierarchicaldesigns can help improve the moderate properties of natural fiberpolymer composites or biocomposites and allow them to compete withconventional materials for load-bearing applications. An overview of themechanics concepts that allow hierarchical designs to achieve higherperformance is presented, followed by observation and results fromflexural tests on periodic and hierarchical cellular beams and platesmade from industrial hemp fibers and unsaturated polyester resinbiocomposites. The experimental data is shown to agree well withperformance indices predicted by mechanics models. A procedure for themulti-scale integrated material/structural analysis of hierarchicalcellular biocomposite components is presented and its advantages andlimitations are discussed. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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