Experiments and numerical simulations of interlocked materials

Charles Brugger, Yves Brechet, Marc Fivel

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

14 Citations (Scopus)


Interlocked materials are new examples of "hybrid materials", mixing materials and structures at a millimetric scale. They consist of periodic assemblies of elementary blocks with specific shapes, maintained in contact by compressive boundary conditions. These "pre-fragmented materials" can simultaneously fulfil antagonistic properties such as high strength together with good damage tolerance. We performed indentation tests on two different structures: (i) an assembly of osteomorphic ice blocks and (ii) an assembly of plaster made cubes. The tests being performed up to the failure, it is found that these structures dissipate much more mechanical energy than similar monolithic plates and preserve their integrity up to much larger deformation. A numerical modelling is then developed in order to reproduce this behaviour. Using finite elements, we simulated the friction contact between two elastic cubes or blocks, for a given lateral load and friction coefficient. The outputs are then introduced as local contact rules in a "Discrete Elements code" specially developed for this study. The discrete code is then used to model the elastic and damage behaviour of assemblies of cubes or osteomorphic blocks. The comparison with experimental results is satisfactory. Finally, the code is used to model larger assemblies of interlocked structures for which the force path is analysed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMulti-functional Materials and Structures - International Conference on Multifunctional Materials and Structures
PublisherTrans Tech Publications
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)0878493786, 9780878493784
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Multifunctional Materials and Structures 2008 - Hong Kong, China
Duration: 28 Jul 200831 Jul 2008

Publication series

NameAdvanced Materials Research
Volume47-50 PART 1
ISSN (Print)1022-6680


ConferenceInternational Conference on Multifunctional Materials and Structures 2008
CityHong Kong


  • Discrete elements method
  • Friction
  • Indentation
  • Interlocked materials

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