3D microstructure visualization and modeling of the mechanical behavior of SiC particle reinforced aluminum composites

B. Wunsch, X. Deng, Nikhilesh Chawla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


A serial sectioning process has been developed to visualize and model the behavior of SiC particle reinforced aluminum composite using a reconstructed 3D microstructure. Two-dimensional microstructures were acquired and used to develop 3D solids for visualization and finite-element modeling (FEM). Visualization and modeling of the 3D composite microstructure aided in the understanding of microstructure morphology and provided the means to make the connection between material structure and performance. The approach used here is a improvement over 3D unit cell modeling that uses simplified approximations of the microstructure. The Young's modulus of the composite predicted by the 3D microstructure model correlated very well with experimental results. Furthermore, the 3D microstructure model prediction was more accurate than 3D unit cell model prediction. The serial sectioning process coupled with finite element modeling is a powerful tool for understanding and accurately predicting the influence of microstructural characteristics on the behavior of materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-184
Number of pages10
JournalHigh Performance Structures and Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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