Bending and buckling of a class of nonlinear fiber composite rods

Alan J. Levy, Akhilesh Shukla, Mayue Xie

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3 Scopus citations


An investigation of the mechanics of bending and buckling is carried out for a class of nonlinear fiber composite rods composed of embedded unidirectional fibers parallel to the rod axis. The specific class of composite considered is one in which the fibers interact with the matrix through a nonlinear Needleman-type cohesive zone [Needleman, A., 1987. A continuum model for void nucleation by inclusion debonding. ASME J. Appl. Mech. 54, 525-531; Needleman, A., 1992. Micromechanical modelling of interfacial decohesion. Ultramicroscopy 40, 203-214]. The primary decohesive mechanism active in bending and buckling of these composite rods is shear slip along the fiber-matrix interfaces allowing the use of a previously developed constitutive relation for antiplane shear response [Levy, A.J., 2000b. The fiber composite with nonlinear interface - part II: antiplane shear. ASME J. Appl. Mech. 67, 733-739]. The formulation requires the specification of a potential interface force-slip law that is assumed to permit interface failure in shear. Four cases of the bending and shearing of beams (concentrated or uniform load on a cantilever or a simply supported beam) are analyzed, each of which exhibits qualitatively distinct response. For certain values of interface parameters, the beam deflection or its gradient at a fixed location can change discontinuously with load. Furthermore, for interface parameter values within a certain range, singular surfaces will exist in uniformly loaded beams where there is a non-uniform distribution of shear stress along the beam length. These singular surfaces divide the beam into regions of maximal and minimal fiber slip and propagate with a rate that varies inversely as the square of the applied load. For other parameter values, singular surfaces will not exist and fiber slip will be diffuse. For the class of nonlinear composite considered, bifurcation and imperfection buckling of pinned-pinned columns is analyzed. For bifurcation buckling, a nonlinear eigenvalue problem is derived and the solution is obtained by Galerkin's method. It is demonstrated that critical loads are influenced by the initial slope, and hence the linear portion, of the interface force-slip relation but the post-buckling response, which in some sense resembles that of plastic buckling, is affected by the entire interface constitutive relation. Imperfection buckling is analyzed in a similar manner by assuming a slight initial curvature of the rod. Sensitivity of the response to imperfection magnitude is discussed as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1064-1092
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006


  • Beams and columns
  • Buckling
  • Fiber reinforced composite material
  • Interfacial debonding and decohesion
  • Stability and bifurication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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