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“Overview of a Generalized Multiscale Analysis Approach for the Design/Analysis of Multi-Phased Materials”

Authors: Steven M. Arnold, Brett A. Bednarcyk, and Evan J. Pineda

With the increased emphasis on reducing the cost and time to market of new materials, ICME (Integrated Computational Materials Engineering) has become a fast growing discipline within materials science and engineering. The vision of ICME is compelling in many respects, not only for the value added in reducing time to market for new products with advanced, tailored materials, but also for enhanced efficiency and performance of these materials. Although the challenges and barriers (both technical and cultural) are formidable, substantial cost, schedule, and technical benefits can result from broad development, implementation, and validation of ICME principles [1]. ICME is an integrated approach to the design of products, and the materials that comprise them, by linking material and structural models at multiple time and length scales. 

Over the past two decades NASA Glenn Research Center has been developing the ImMAC (Integrated multiscale Micromechanics Analysis Code) suite of tools for analyzing continuous, discontinuous, woven, and smart (piezo-electo-magnetic) composite materials and/or structures composed of such materials. MAC/GMC (a comprehensive and versatile stand-alone micromechanics analysis computer code), HyperMAC (the coupling of MAC/GMC micromechanics with the commercial structural sizing software known as HyperSizer [2]), MSGMC (the recursive coupling of micromechanics with micromechanics, for woven composites), and FEAMAC (the coupling of MAC/GMC micromechanics with the commercial finite element code, Abaqus [3]) make up this suite. At the core of these various tools is the well-known method of cells family of micromechanics theories (e.g., method of cells, Generalized Method of Cells, and High-Fidelity Generalized Method of Cells) developed by Aboudi and co-workers [4].  These methods provide semi-closed form solutions for determining global anisotropic composite response in terms of the constituent material response and arrangement, while also providing the full three dimensional stresses and strains in each of the constituent subcells. Micromechanics based analysis lends itself to ICME in that it can link the processing and microstructure of the material directly to the resulting properties and performance of the material/structure, thereby enabling the engineer to not only “design-with-the” material but also concurrently “design-the” material.  This presentation will provide an overview of GRC’s approach along with illustrative examples using the ImMAC suite of toolset.


  1. National Research Council, Integrated Computational Materials Engineering: A Transformational Discipline for Improved Competitiveness and National Security, the National Academies Press (Washington, DC, 2008)
  2. Collier Research Corporation makers of HyperSizer;
  3. Simulia Abaqus, a Dassault Systemes subsidiary;
  4. Aboudi, J., Arnold, S.M., and Bednarcyk, B.A. (2013) Micromechanics of Composite Materials: A Generalized Multiscale Analysis Approach, Elsevier, Oxford, UK

About the Speaker

Dr. Steven M. Arnold, NASA Glenn Research Center

Technical Lead: Multiscale Multiphysics Modeling

Dr. Steven M. Arnold is the Technical Lead for Multiscale Modeling within the Materials and Structures Division at NASA Glenn Research Center with over 30 years of experience. Dr. Arnold conducts research involving theoretical and experimental investigations of structural material behavior of advanced aircraft propulsion systems and spacecraft structures. His primary emphasis is on the development of advanced high temperature viscoelastoplastic deformation and damage constitutive models, and the associated multi-scale design and analysis computational tools required to make these models accessible to the engineering community. 

Dr. Arnold's research activities have resulted in the development and distribution of numerous computational tools: the most notable being the award winning micromechanics analysis code MAC/GMC; a nonlinear hardening, multi-mechanism, potential based, unified viscoelastoplastic model (GVIPS) and model parameter optimization code, COMPARE.  He has over 375 technical publications, 104 of which are journal publications and is a co-author of the book, “Micromechanics of Composite Materials: A Generalized Multiscale Analysis Approach”.  He is an ASM International Fellow, active in AIAA materials TC, author of two US Patents, the 2015 ASC/DEStech Award in Composites recipient, and co-founder and chairman of the Material Data Management Consortium (MDMC) and director of MACE, NASA Glenn’s Multiscale Analysis Center of Excellence.