A hierarchical framework for the multiscale modeling of microstructure evolution in heterogeneous materials
Luscher, Darby J.
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All materials are heterogeneous at various scales of observation. The influence of material heterogeneity on nonuniform response and microstructure evolution can have profound impact on continuum thermomechanical response at macroscopic "engineering" scales. In many cases, it is necessary to treat this behavior as a multiscale process. This research developed a hierarchical multiscale approach for modeling microstructure evolution. A theoretical framework for the hierarchical homogenization of inelastic response of heterogeneous materials was developed with a special focus on scale invariance principles needed to assure physical consistency across scales. Within this multiscale framework, the second gradient is used as a nonlocal kinematic link between the response of a material point at the coarse scale and the response of a neighborhood of material points at the fine scale. Kinematic consistency between two scales results in specific requirements for constraints on the fluctuation field. A multiscale internal state variable (ISV) constitutive theory is developed that is couched in the coarse scale intermediate configuration and from which an important new concept in scale transitions emerges, namely scale invariance of dissipation. At the fine scale, the material is treated using finite element models of statistical volume elements of microstructure. The coarse scale is treated using a mixed-field finite element approach. The coarse scale constitutive equations are implemented in a finite deformation hyperelastic inelastic integration scheme developed for second gradient constitutive models. An example problem based on an idealized porous microstructure is presented to illustrate the approach and highlight its predictive utility. This example and a few variations are explored to address the boundary-value-problem dependent nature of length scale parameters employed in nonlocal continuum theories. Finally, strategies for developing meaningful kinematic ISVs, free energy functions, and the associated evolution kinetics are presented. These strategies are centered on the goal of accurately representing the energy stored and dissipated during irreversible processes.