A Combinatorial Optimization Approach to Composite Materials Tailoring

[+] Author and Article Information
D. Sadagopan, R. Pitchumani

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Connecticut, U-139, Storrs, CT 06269-3139

J. Mech. Des 119(4), 494-503 (Dec 01, 1997) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2826395 History: Received August 01, 1996; Revised July 01, 1997; Online December 11, 2007


Composite materials offer designers the advantage of tailoring structures and materials to meet a variety of property and performance requirements in changing and demanding environments. However, the wide variety of material combinations, reinforcement geometries and architectures to choose from poses a bewildering problem of selection. Thus an appropriate, and furthermore optimal, tailoring of composite materials for applications is a challenging design problem and forms the focus of the article. Specifically, the present work addresses the problem of selecting optimal combinations of matrix and reinforcement materials, and reinforcement morphology, architecture, and volume fraction so as to meet the specified property and performance requirements. The optimal tailoring problem is solved using the combinatorial optimization technique of simulated annealing which works in conjunction with a property model base consisting of analytical relationships between the composite properties and the microstructure. The matrix materials considered in the study span the material classes of polymers, metals and ceramics while reinforcement geometries of unidirectional fibers, particulates and two-dimensional woven fabrics are considered. The overall approach and key results of the study are presented and discussed.

Copyright © 1997 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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