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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.

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.

Meshfree methods (MMs) such as the element free Galerkin (EFG)method have gained popularity because of some advantages over other numerical methods such as the finite element method (FEM). A group of problems that have attracted a great deal of attention from the EFG method community includes the treatment of large deformations and dealing with strong discontinuities such as cracks. One efficient solution to model cracks is adding special enrichment functions to the standard shape functions such as extended FEM, within the FEM context, and the cracking particles method, based on EFG method. It is well known that explicit time integration in dynamic applications is conditionally stable. Furthermore, in enriched methods, the critical time step may tend to very small values leading to computationally expensive simulations. In this work, we study the stability of enriched MMs and propose two mass-lumping strategies. Then we show that the critical time step for enriched MMs based on lumped mass matrices is of the same order as the critical time step of MMs without enrichment. Moreover, we show that, in contrast to extended FEM, even with a consistent mass matrix, the critical time step does not vanish even when the crack directly crosses a node.

The concept of isogeometric analysis, where functions that are used to describe geometry in CAD software are used to approximate the unknown fields in numerical simulations, has received great attention in recent years. The method has the potential to have profound impact on engineering design, since the task of meshing, which in some cases can add significant overhead, has been circumvented. Much of the research effort has been focused on finite element implementations of the isogeometric concept, but at present, little has been seen on the application to the Boundary Element Method. The current paper proposes an Isogeometric Boundary Element Method (BEM), which we term IGABEM, applied to two-dimensional elastostatic problems using Non-Uniform Rational B-Splines (NURBS). We find it is a natural fit with the isogeometric concept since both the NURBS approximation and BEM deal with quantities entirely on the boundary. The method is verified against analytical solutions where it is seen that superior accuracies are achieved over a conventional quadratic isoparametric BEM implementation.

This paper presents a novel numerical procedure for computing limit and shakedown loads of structures using a node-based smoothed FEM in combination with a primal–dual algorithm. An associated primal–dual form based on the von Mises yield criterion is adopted. The primal-dual algorithm together with a Newton-like iteration are then used to solve this associated primal–dual form to determine simultaneously both approximate upper and quasi-lower bounds of the plastic collapse limit and the shakedown limit. The present formulation uses only linear approximations and its implementation into finite element programs is quite simple. Several numerical examples are given to show the reliability, accuracy, and generality of the present formulation compared with other available methods.

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.

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.

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.

This paper presents a strain smoothing procedure for the extended finite element method (XFEM). The resulting “edge-based” smoothed extended finite element method (ESm-XFEM) is tailored to linear elastic fracture mechanics and, in this context, to outperform the standard XFEM. In the XFEM, the displacement-based approximation is enriched by the Heaviside and asymptotic crack tip functions using the framework of partition of unity. This eliminates the need for the mesh alignment with the crack and re-meshing, as the crack evolves. Edge-based smoothing (ES) relies on a generalized smoothing operation over smoothing domains associated with edges of simplex meshes, and produces a softening effect leading to a close-to-exact stiffness, “super-convergence” and “ultra-accurate” solutions. The present method takes advantage of both the ES-FEM and the XFEM. Thanks to the use of strain smoothing, the subdivision of elements intersected by discontinuities and of integrating the (singular) derivatives of the approximation functions is suppressed via transforming interior integration into boundary integration. Numerical examples show that the proposed method improves significantly the accuracy of stress intensity factors and achieves a near optimal convergence rate in the energy norm even without geometrical enrichment or blending correction.

A phantom-node method is developed for three-node shell elements to describe cracks. This method can treat arbitrary cracks independently of the mesh. The crack may cut elements completely or partially. Elements are overlapped on the position of the crack, and they are partially integrated to implement the discontinuous displacement across the crack. To consider the element containing a crack tip, a new kinematical relation between the overlapped elements is developed. There is no enrichment function for the discontinuous displacement field. Several numerical examples are presented to illustrate the proposed method.

This work describes an algorithm and corresponding software for incorporating general nonlinear multiple-point equality constraints in a implicit sparse direct solver. It is shown that direct addressing of sparse matrices is possible in general circumstances, circumventing the traditional linear or binary search for introducing (generalized) constituents to a sparse matrix. Nested and arbitrarily interconnected multiple-point constraints are introduced by processing of multiplicative constituents with a built-in topological ordering of the resulting directed graph. A classification of discretization methods is performed and some re-classified problems are described and solved under this proposed perspective. The dependence relations between solution methods, algorithms and constituents becomes apparent. Fracture algorithms can be naturally casted in this framework. Solutions based on control equations are also directly incorporated as equality constraints. We show that arbitrary constituents can be used as long as the resulting directed graph is acyclic. It is also shown that graph partitions and orderings should be performed in the innermost part of the algorithm, a fact with some peculiar consequences. The core of our implicit code is described, specifically new algorithms for direct access of sparse matrices (by means of the clique structure) and general constituent processing. It is demonstrated that the graph structure of the second derivatives of the equality constraints are cliques (or pseudo-elements) and are naturally included as such. A complete algorithm is presented which allows a complete automation of equality constraints, avoiding the need of pre-sorting. Verification applications in four distinct areas are shown: single and multiple rigid body dynamics, solution control and computational fracture.