Random Heterogeneous Materials: Microstructure and Macroscopic Properties

By Salvatore Torquato

Publisher: Springer-Verlag (2002)


Excerpts from Chapter 1:

The determination of the transport, electromagnetic and mechanical properties of heterogeneous materials has a long and venerable history, attracting the attention of some of the luminaries of science, including Maxwell (1873), Lord Rayleigh (1892) and Einstein (1906). In his Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, Maxwell derived an expression for the effective conductivity of a dispersion of spheres that is exact for dilute sphere concentrations. Lord Rayleigh developed a formalism to compute the effective conductivity of regular arrays of spheres that is used to this day. Work on the mechanical properties of heterogeneous materials began with the famous paper by Einstein in which he determined the effective viscosity of a dilute suspension of spheres. Since the early work on the physical properties of heterogeneous materials, there has been an explosion in the literature on this subject because of the rich and challenging fundamental problems it offers and its manifest technological importance.

This book is divided into two parts. Part I deals with the quantitative characterization of the microstructure of heterogeneous materials via theoretical, computer-simulation and imaging techniques. Emphasis is placed on theoretical methods. Part II treats a wide variety of effective properties of heterogeneous materials and how they are linked to the microstructure. This is accomplished using rigorous methods. (Readers interested in property prediction can immediately skip to Part II.) Whenever possible, theoretical predictions for the effective properties are compared to available experimental and computer-simulation data. The overall goal of the book is to provide a rigorous means of characterizing the microstructure and properties of heterogeneous materials that can simultaneously yield results of practical utility. A unified treatment of both microstructure and properties is emphasized.

In Chapter 2, the various microstructural functions that are essential in determining the effective properties of random heterogeneous materials are defined. Chapter 3 provides a review of the statistical mechanics of particle systems that is particularly germane to the study of random heterogeneous materials. In Chapter 4, a unified approach to characterize the microstructure of a large class of media is developed. This is accomplished via a canonical n-point function H_n from which one can derive exact analytical expressions for any microstructural function of interest. Chapters 5, 6 and 7 apply the formalism of Chapter 4 to the case of identical systems of spheres, spheres with a polydispersivity in size, and anisotropic particle systems (including laminates), respectively. In Chapter 8, the methods of Chapter 4 are extended to quantify the microstructure of cell models. Here the random-field approach is also discussed. Chapter 9 reviews the study of percolation and clustering on a lattice and introduces continuum percolation. Chapter 10 describes specific developments continuum percolation theory. Chapter 11 describes a means to study microstructural fluctuations that occur on local length scales. Finally, Chapter 12 discusses computer-simulation techniques (primarily Monte Carlo methods) to quantify microstructure. Moreover, it is shown how to apply the same methods to compute relevant microstructural functions from two- and three-dimensional images of the material.

In Chapter 13, the local governing equations for the relevant field quantities and the method of homogenization leading to the averaged equations for the effective properties are described. The aforementioned four different classes of problems are studied. In Chapter 14, minimum energy principles are derived that lead to variational bounds on all of the effective properties in terms of trial fields. Chapter 15 proves and discusses certain phase-interchange relations for the effective conductivity and elastic moduli. Chapter 16 derives and describes some exact results for each of the effective properties. In Chapter 17, we derive the local fields associated with a single spherical or ellipsoidal inclusion in an infinite medium for all problem classes. Chapter 18 presents derivations of popular effective-medium approximations for all four effective properties. In Chapter 19, cluster expansions of the effective properties of dispersions are described. Chapter 20 presents derivations of so-called strong-contrast expansions for the effective conductivity and elastic moduli of generally anisotropic media of arbitrary microstructure. In Chapter 21, rigorous bounds on the all of the effective properties are derived using the variational principles of Chapter 14 and specific trial fields. Chapter 22 describes the evaluation of the bounds found in Chapter 21 for certain theoretical model microstructures as well as experimental systems using the results of Part I. Finally, cross-property relations between the seemingly different effective properties considered here are discussed and derived in Chapter 23.

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