On the homogenized yield strength of two-phase composites

P. Ponte Castañeda, G. DeBotton, Michael Ellis Fisher

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This paper is concerned with the determination of the effective yield strength of two-phase, rigid-perfectly plastic composite materials. The individual phases are assumed to satisfy, for simplicity, incompressible, isotropic yield criteria of the Mises type. The volume fractions of the constituent phases are prescribed, but their distribution within the composite is otherwise arbitrary. Using the homogenization framework of Suquet (1983) to define the homogenized, or effective, yield strength domain of rigid-perfectly plastic composites, a variational statement is introduced allowing the estimation of the associated effective dissipation functions of plastic composites in terms of the effective dissipation functions of corresponding classes of linearly viscous comparison composites. Thus the variational statement suggests a procedure for generating bounds and estimates for the effective yield strength of rigid-perfectly plastic composites from well-known bounds and estimates for the effective properties of the corresponding linear comparison composites. Sample results are given in the form of upper bounds and lower estimates of the Hashin-Shtrikman type for the effective yield strength of two-phase composites with overall isotropy. Additionally, estimates and bounds are also given for the effective strength domains of two-phase laminated and fibre-reinforced composites, with overall transverse isotropy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-431
Number of pages13
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number1903
StatePublished - 8 Aug 1992


  • Fiber Composites
  • Particulate Reinforced Composites
  • Stress Functions
  • Yield Strength
  • Laminates
  • Plastic Flow
  • Tensile Strength


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