Microscopic and macroscopic instabilities in finitely strained fiber-reinforced elastomers

J. C. Michel, O. Lopez-Pamies, P. Ponte Castaeda, N. Triantafyllidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present work is a detailed study of the connections between microstructural instabilities and their macroscopic manifestations as captured through the effective properties in finitely strained fiber-reinforced elastomers, subjected to finite, plane-strain deformations normal to the fiber direction. The work, which is a complement to a previous and analogous investigation by the same authors on porous elastomers, (Michel et al., 2007), uses the linear comparison, second-order homogenization (S.O.H.) technique, initially developed for random media, to study the onset of failure in periodic fiber-reinforced elastomers and to compare the results to more accurate finite element method (F.E.M.) calculations. The influence of different fiber distributions (random and periodic), initial fiber volume fraction, matrix constitutive law and fiber cross-section on the microscopic buckling (for periodic microgeometries) and macroscopic loss of ellipticity (for all microgeometries) is investigated in detail. In addition, constraints to the principal solution due to fiber/matrix interface decohesion, matrix cavitation and fiber contact are also addressed. It is found that both microscopic and macroscopic instabilities can occur for periodic microstructures, due to a symmetry breaking in the periodic arrangement of the fibers. On the other hand, no instabilities are found for the case of random microstructures with circular section fibers, while only macroscopic instabilities are found for the case of elliptical section fibers, due to a symmetry breaking in their orientation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1776-1803
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Elastic material
  • Fiber-reinforced material
  • Finite elements
  • Finite strain
  • Stability and bifurcation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Microscopic and macroscopic instabilities in finitely strained fiber-reinforced elastomers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this