Design of Ultra-Lightweight and High-Strength Cellular Structural Composites by Modeling

Z. Hu, K. Thiyagarajan, T. Letcher, Q.H. Fan, D. Salem
South Dakota State University,
United States

Keywords: polymer omposites, discontinuous fiber reinforced, biomimetics, cellular structure, computer modeling


Cellular materials are of significant interest to the materials research community as they often possess multifunctional physical properties. To meet the application requirements, various design and fabrication methods are adopted to produce highly porous composites. In this work, a novel algorithm involving homogenization, optimization, reconstruction and validation of an efficient design of micro-cellular solid structure for additive manufacturing (3D printing) will be presented for developing ultra-lightweight, high-strength, and multifunctional cellular composites reinforced by discontinuous fibers. The design of topologies of the cellular composites’ will be based on biomimetics and periodic representative volume elements. Computer modeling will be conducted to characterize the designed cellular composites’ performance and properties. 3D printing techniques will be adopted for prototyping the design and experimental test will be carried out for validating the design and for seeking the desired performance and properties of the cellular structural composites.