Evaluation of effective thermal conductivity of fiber-reinforced composites

Changyong Cao, Aibing Yu, Qinghua Qin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


In this paper, effective thermal conductivity of fiber-reinforced composites are estimated by the newly developed hybrid finite element method (FEM). In the hybrid FEM, foundational solutions are employed to approximate the intra-element displacement field in any given element, while the polynomial shape functions used in traditional FEM are utilized to interpolate the frame field. The homogenization procedures using the representative volume element are integrated with the hybrid fundamental solution based finite element method (HFS-FEM) to estimate the effective thermal conductivity of the composites and to investigate the effect of fiber volume fraction and fiber arrangement pattern on the effective thermal conductivity. A special element with an inclusion is constructed by means of related special fundamental solutions. Due to the fact that the proposed special element exactly satisfy its boundary conditions along the fibre-matrix interface, only element boundary integrals are involved and significant mesh reduction can be achieved. Mesh regeneration may be avoided as well when the fiber volume fraction is slightly changed. The accuracy of the numerical results obtained by the proposed method is verified against with that obtained from commercial software package ABAQUS. The results indicate that the proposed method is efficient and accurate in analyzing the micromechanical thermal behavior of fiber-composites and has the potential to be scaled up to macro-scale modeling of practical problems of interest.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14 - 29
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Architecture, Engineering and Construction
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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