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This paper extends further the strain smoothing technique in finite elements to 8-noded hexahedral elements (CS-FEM-H8). The idea behind the present method is similar to the cell-based smoothed 4-noded quadrilateral finite elements (CS-FEM-Q4). In CSFEM, the smoothing domains are created based on elements, and each element can be further subdivided into 1 or several smoothing cells. It is observed that: 1) The CS-FEM using a single smoothing cell can produce higher stress accuracy, but insufficient rank and poor displacement accuracy; 2) The CS-FEM using several smoothing cells has proper rank, good displacement accuracy, but lower stress accuracy, especially for nearly incompressible and bending dominant problems. We therefore propose 1) an extension of strain smoothing to 8-noded hexahedral elements and 2) an alternative CS-FEM form, which associates the single smoothing cell issue with multi-smoothing cell one via a stabilization technique. Several numerical examples are provided to show the reliability and accuracy of the present formulation.

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.

A four-node quadrilateral shell element with smoothed membrane-bending based on Mindlin-Reissner theory is proposed. The element is a combination of a plate bending and membrane element. It is based on mixed interpolation where the bending and membrane stiffness matrices are calculated on the boundaries of the smoothing cells while the shear terms are approximated by independent interpolation functions in natural coordinates. The proposed element is robust, computationally inexpensive and free of locking. Since the integration is done on the element boundaries for the bending and membrane terms, the element is more accurate than the MITC4 element for distorted meshes. This will be demonstrated for several numerical examples.

The distinguishing structural feature of single-layered black phosphorus is its puckered structure, which leads to many novel physical properties. In this work, we first present a new parameterization of the Stillinger–Weber potential for single-layered black phosphorus. In doing so, we reveal the importance of a cross-pucker interaction term in capturing its unique mechanical properties, such as a negative Poisson's ratio. In particular, we show that the cross-pucker interaction enables the pucker to act as a re-entrant hinge, which expands in the lateral direction when it is stretched in the longitudinal direction. As a consequence, single-layered black phosphorus has a negative Poisson's ratio in the direction perpendicular to the atomic plane. As an additional demonstration of the impact of the cross-pucker interaction, we show that it is also the key factor that enables capturing the edge stress-induced bending of single-layered black phosphorus that has been reported in ab initio calculations.

Explicit solutions for the cohesive energy between carbon nanotubes, graphene and substrates are obtained through continuum modeling of the van der Waals interaction between them. The dependence of the cohesive energy on their size, spacing and crossing angles is analyzed. Checking against full atom molecular dynamics calculations and available experimental results shows that the continuum solution has high accuracy. The equilibrium distances between the nanotubes, graphene and substrates with minimum cohesive energy are also provided explicitly. The obtained analytical solution should be of great help for understanding the interaction between the nanostructures and substrates, and designing composites and nanoelectromechanical systems.

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 proposes an adaptive atomistic- continuum numerical method for quasi-static crack growth. The phantom node method is used to model the crack in the continuum region and a molecular statics model is used near the crack tip. To ensure self-consistency in the bulk, a virtual atom cluster is used to model the material of the coarse scale. The coupling between the coarse scale and fine scale is realized through ghost atoms. The ghost atom positions are interpolated from the coarse scale solution and enforced as boundary conditions on the fine scale. The fine scale region is adaptively enlarged as the crack propagates and the region behind the crack tip is adaptively coarsened. An energy criterion is used to detect the crack tip location. The triangular lattice in the fine scale region corresponds to the lattice structure of the (111) plane of an FCC crystal. The Lennard-Jones potential is used to model the atom–atom interactions. The method is implemented in two dimensions. The results are compared to pure atomistic simulations; they show excellent agreement.

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.