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Thin-walled cylindrical composite shell structures are often applied in aerospace for lighter and cheaper launcher transport system. These structures exhibit sensitivity to geometrical imperfection and are prone to buckling under axial compression. Today the design is based on NASA guidelines from the 1960’s [1] using a conservative lower bound curve embodying many experimental results of that time. It is well known that the advantages and different characteristics of composites as well as the evolution of manufacturing standards are not considered apporopriately in this outdated approach. The DESICOS project was initiated to provide new design guidelines regarding all the advantages of composites and allow further weight reduction of space structures by guaranteeing a more precise and robust design.
Therefore it is necessary among other things to understand how a cutout with different dimensions affects the buckling load of a thin-walled cylindrical shell structure in combination with initial geometric imperfections. This work is intended to identify a ratio between the cutout characteristic dimension (in this case the cutout diameter) and the structure characteristic dimension (in this case the cylinder radius) that can be used to tell if the buckling structure is dominated by initial imperfections or is dominated by the cutout.

Modern digital material approaches for the visualization and simulation of heterogeneous materials allow to investigate the behavior of complex multiphase materials with their physical nonlinear material response at various scales. However, these computational techniques require extensive hardware resources with respect to computing power and main memory to solve numerically large-scale discretized models in 3D. Due to a very high number of degrees of freedom, which may rapidly be increased to the two-digit million range, the limited hardware ressources are to be utilized in a most efficient way to enable an execution of the numerical algorithms in minimal computation time. Hence, in the field of computational mechanics, various methods and algorithms can lead to an optimized runtime behavior of nonlinear simulation models, where several approaches are proposed and investigated in this thesis.
Today, the numerical simulation of damage effects in heterogeneous materials is performed by the adaption of multiscale methods. A consistent modeling in the three-dimensional space with an appropriate discretization resolution on each scale (based on a hierarchical or concurrent multiscale model), however, still contains computational challenges in respect to the convergence behavior, the scale transition or the solver performance of the weak coupled problems. The computational efficiency and the distribution among available hardware resources (often based on a parallel hardware architecture) can significantly be improved. In the past years, high-performance computing (HPC) and graphics processing unit (GPU) based computation techniques were established for the investigationof scientific objectives. Their application results in the modification of existing and the development of new computational methods for the numerical implementation, which enables to take advantage of massively clustered computer hardware resources. In the field of numerical simulation in material science, e.g. within the investigation of damage effects in multiphase composites, the suitability of such models is often restricted by the number of degrees of freedom (d.o.f.s) in the three-dimensional spatial discretization. This proves to be difficult for the type of implementation method used for the nonlinear simulation procedure and, simultaneously has a great influence on memory demand and computational time.
In this thesis, a hybrid discretization technique has been developed for the three-dimensional discretization of a three-phase material, which is respecting the numerical efficiency of nonlinear (damage) simulations of these materials. The increase of the computational efficiency is enabled by the improved scalability of the numerical algorithms. Consequently, substructuring methods for partitioning the hybrid mesh were implemented, tested and adapted to the HPC computing framework using several hundred CPU (central processing units) nodes for building the finite element assembly. A memory-efficient iterative and parallelized equation solver combined with a special preconditioning technique for solving the underlying equation system was modified and adapted to enable combined CPU and GPU based computations.
Hence, it is recommended by the author to apply the substructuring method for hybrid meshes, which respects different material phases and their mechanical behavior and which enables to split the structure in elastic and inelastic parts. However, the consideration of the nonlinear material behavior, specified for the corresponding phase, is limited to the inelastic domains only, and by that causes a decreased computing time for the nonlinear procedure. Due to the high numerical effort for such simulations, an alternative approach for the nonlinear finite element analysis, based on the sequential linear analysis, was implemented in respect to scalable HPC. The incremental-iterative procedure in finite element analysis (FEA) during the nonlinear step was then replaced by a sequence of linear FE analysis when damage in critical regions occured, known in literature as saw-tooth approach. As a result, qualitative (smeared) crack initiation in 3D multiphase specimens has efficiently been simulated.

An analytical molecular mechanics model for the elastic properties of crystalline polyethylene
(2012)

We present an analytical model to relate the elastic properties of crystalline polyethylene based on a molecular mechanics approach. Along the polymer chains direction, the united-atom (UA) CH2-CH2 bond stretching, angle bending potentials are replaced with equivalent Euler-Bernoulli beams. Between any two polymer chains, the explicit formulae are derived for the van der Waals interaction represented by the linear springs of different stiffness. Then, the nine independent elastic constants are evaluated systematically using the formulae. The analytical model is finally validated by present united-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and against available all-atom molecular dynamics results in the literature. The established analytical model provides an efficient route for mechanical characterization of crystalline polymers and related materials.

This paper presents a novel numerical procedure based on the framework of isogeometric analysis for static, free vibration, and buckling analysis of laminated composite plates using the first-order shear deformation theory. The isogeometric approach utilizes non-uniform rational B-splines to implement for the quadratic, cubic, and quartic elements. Shear locking problem still exists in the stiffness formulation, and hence, it can be significantly alleviated by a stabilization technique. Several numerical examples are presented to show the performance of the method, and the results obtained are compared with other available ones.

We present an extended finite element formulation for dynamic fracture of piezo-electric materials. The method is developed in the context of linear elastic fracture mechanics. It is applied to mode I and mixed mode-fracture for quasi-steady cracks. An implicit time integration scheme is exploited. The results are compared to results obtained with the boundary element method and show excellent agreement.

A simple multiscale analysis framework for heterogeneous solids based on a computational homogenization technique is presented. The macroscopic strain is linked kinematically to the boundary displacement of a circular or spherical representative volume which contains the microscopic information of the material. The macroscopic stress is obtained from the energy principle between the macroscopic scale and the microscopic scale. This new method is applied to several standard examples to show its accuracy and consistency of the method proposed.

The lattice dynamics properties are investigated for twisting bilayer graphene. There are big jumps for the inter-layer potential at twisting angle θ=0° and 60°, implying the stability of Bernal-stacking and the instability of AA-stacking structures, while a long platform in [8,55]° indicates the ease of twisting bilayer graphene in this wide angle range. Significant frequency shifts are observed for the z breathing mode around θ=0° and 60°, while the frequency is a constant in a wide range [8,55]°. Using the z breathing mode, a mechanical nanoresonator is proposed to operate on a robust resonant frequency in terahertz range.

The upper limit of the thermal conductivity and the mechanical strength are predicted for the polyethylene chain, by performing the ab initio calculation and applying the quantum mechanical non-equilibrium Green’s function approach. Specially, there are two main findings from our calculation: (1) the thermal conductivity can reach a high value of 310 Wm−1 K−1 in a 100 nm polyethylene chain at room temperature and the thermal conductivity increases with the length of the chain; (2) the Young’s modulus in the polyethylene chain is as high as 374.5 GPa, and the polyethylene chain can sustain 32.85%±0.05% (ultimate) strain before undergoing structural phase transition into gaseous ethylene.