A new method to generate a three-dimensional (3D) nanoscale tetrapod-shaped zinc oxide whisker (NT-ZnOw) with spatial random distribution is proposed, and a corresponding program is developed. A whisker-generating program is combined with finite element method to build a 3D finite element model that can predict the mechanical properties of NT-ZnOw/resin composites. A 3D finite-element unit cell is adopted and subjected to periodic displacement boundary conditions to explore the equivalent mechanical properties of the NT-ZnOw/resin composites. A micromechanics finite element model of the NT-ZnOw reinforced composites containing various volume fractions of NT-ZnOw is also developed. Effects of different volume fractions and aspect ratios of the whisker on the stiffness of the composites are investigated. These parameters can be used in the microscopic prediction and analysis to determine the mechanical properties of whisker-reinforced composites with multivariate and random distribution of the whiskers. The numerical and theoretical predictions are in good concordance.
Rong, J. L., Gan, Z. K., Wang, D., & Cao, M. S. (2015). Numerical predictions of the mechanical properties of NT-ZnOw reinforced composites. Computational Materials Science, 96(PA), 185–190. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.commatsci.2014.09.002