A pipeline approach to developing virtual tests for composite materials

Brian Cox, Hrishikesh Bale, Matthew Blacklock, Bao Chan Do, Renaud Rinaldi, Robert Ritchie, Qingda Yang, Frank Zok, David Marshall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A multi-disciplinary project combines experiments and theory to build high-fidelity virtual tests of composite materials. The virtual test is assembled via a "pipeline" running through a number of collaborating institutions. Key experimental challenges are acquiring 3D data that reveal the random microstructure and damage events at high temperatures in the interior of the composite with very high resolution (̃ 1 μm). Key theoretical challenges include representing the stochastic characteristics of the 3D microstructure, modeling the failure events that evolve within it, and developing efficient methods for executing large ensembles of stochastic virtual tests. To begin, 3D images of 3D woven ceramic composites are captured by x-ray μCT on a synchrotron beamline. The statistics of the shape and positioning of the fiber tows in the 3D architecture are used to calibrate a generator that creates virtual specimens that are individually distinct but share the statistical characteristics of measured specimens. Failure of the virtual specimens is simulated by advanced computational methods, revealing the complete failure sequence of multiple interacting crack types. Validation of the analytical methods is performed by comparing with data captured at 1500°C and above, using digital image correlation or μCT to track damage evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication13th International Conference on Fracture 2013, ICF 2013
PublisherChinese Society of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Event13th International Conference on Fracture 2013, ICF 2013 - Beijing, China
Duration: Jun 16 2013Jun 21 2013


Other13th International Conference on Fracture 2013, ICF 2013


  • Ceramic
  • High temperature
  • Stochastic
  • Textile
  • Virtual test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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