A new Class of Extremal Composites

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    The paper presents a new class of two-phase isotropic composites with extremal bulk modulus. The new class consists of micro geometrics for which exact solutions can be proven and their bulk moduli are shown to coincide with the Hashin-Shtrikman bounds. The results hold for two and three dimensions and for both well- and non-well-ordered isotropic constituent phases. The new class of composites constitutes an alternative to the three previously known extremal composite classes: finite rank laminates, composite sphere assemblages and Vigdergauz microstructures. An isotropic honeycomb-like hexagonal microstructure belonging to the new class of composites has maximum bulk modulus and lower shear modulus than any previously known composite.

    Inspiration for the new composite class comes from a numerical topology design procedure which solves the inverse homogenization problem of distributing two isotropic material phases in a periodic isotropic material structure such that the effective properties are extremized. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)397-428
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2000


    • homogenization
    • microstructures
    • constitutive behaviour
    • optimization
    • numerical algorithms


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