Constitutive Modeling of Anisotropic Finite-Deformation Hyperelastic Behaviors of Soft Materials Reinforced by Tortuous Fibers

Phillip H. Kao, Steven R. Lammers, Kendall Hunter, Kurt R Stenmark, Robin Shandas, Jerry H Qi


Many biological materials are composites composed of a soft matrix reinforced with stiffer fibers. These stiffer fibers may have a tortuous shape and wind through the soft matrix. At small material deformation, these fibers deform in a bending mode and contribute little to the material stiffness; at large material deformation, these fibers deform in a stretching mode and induce a stiffening effect in the material behavior. The transition from bending mode deformation to stretching mode deformation yields a characteristic J-shape stress-strain curve. In addition, the spatial distribution of these fibers may render the composite an anisotropic behavior. In this paper, we present an anisotropic finite-deformation hyperelastic constitutive model for such materials. Here, the matrix is modeled as an isotropic neo-Hookean material. “The behaviors of single tortuous fiber are represented by a crimped fiber model”. The anisotropic behavior is introduced by a structure tensor representing the effective orientation distribution of crimped fibers. Parametric studies show the effect of fiber tortuosity and fiber orientation distribution on the overall stress-strain behaviors of the materials.

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