Influence of platelet aspect ratio on the mechanical behaviour of bio- inspired nanocomposites using molecular dynamics
S Mathiazhagan and S Anup, JOURNAL OF THE MECHANICAL BEHAVIOR OF BIOMEDICAL MATERIALS, 59, 21-40 (2016).
Superior mechanical properties of biocomposites such as nacre and bone are attributed to their basic building blocks. These basic building blocks have nanoscale features and play a major role in achieving combined stiffening, strengthening and toughening mechanisms. Bioinspired nanocomposites based on these basic building blocks, regularly and stairwise staggered arrangements of hard platelets in soft matrix, have huge potential for developing advanced materials. The study of applicability of mechanical principles of biological materials to engineered materials will guide designing advanced materials. To probe the generic mechanical characteristics of these bioinspired nanocomposites, the model material concept in molecular dynamics (MD) is used. In this paper, the effect of platelets aspect ratio (AR) on the mechanical behaviour of bioinspired nanocomposites is investigated. The obtained Young's moduli of both the models and the strengths of the regularly staggered models agree with the available theories. However, the strengths of the stairwise staggered models show significant difference. For the stairwise staggered model, we demonstrate the existence of two critical ARs, a smaller critical AR above which platelet fracture occurs and a higher critical AR above which composite strength remains constant. Our MD study also shows the existence of mechanisms of platelet pull-out and breakage for lower and higher ARs. Pullout mechanism acts as a major source of plasticity. Further, we find that the regularly staggered model can achieve an optimal combination of high Young's modulus, flow strength and toughness, and the stairwise staggered model is efficient in obtaining high Young's modulus and tensile strength. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Return to Publications page