Porosity-dependent stability analysis of bio-inspired cellular nanocomposite shells

B. Sobhani Aragh, Wei Tan, E. Farahani, M. Al-Greer, D. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents an innovative numerical model to investigate buckling behaviour of bio-inspired continuously graded porous (CGP) nanocomposite cylindrical shells. It is postulated that the shell subjected to combined lateral pressure and axial compressive load is constructed from metal foams with closed-cell structures that possess graded internal pores, which exhibit three types of continuously graded porosity profiles based on a power-law distribution. A scaling relation for the effective Young's modulus of the cellular structure determined by a variational finite element method (FEM) is used. The effective constitutive law of an elastic isotropic metal matrix containing distributed elastic carbon-nanotubes (CNTs) is estimated in consideration of the impact of CNTs agglomeration using a continuum model based on the Eshelby–Mori–Tanaka (EMT) approach. In contrast to conventional approaches, the study employs Euler–Bernoulli beams to model stiffeners within the CGP shells. This choice allows for a more realistic representation of stiffener effects, as opposed to the prevalent approach of uniform smearing across the shell's surface. The equilibrium equations of the CGP shell, based on the Reddy higher-order shell theory (RHST), is obtained through the application of the Euler equation. Subsequently, the equations for stability are obtained through the utilization of the variational method. This study emphasizes the effects of geometrical parameters, porosity variability, and distribution of CNTs on the buckling performance of the CGP shells. The intricate interplay between CNTs and porosity distributions critically influences the stability behaviour of CGP shells. CNTs arrangement remarkably impacts buckling behaviour at higher length-to-mean radius ratios, while symmetric porosity near the mid-surface significantly enhances stiffness. These findings provide valuable insights for designing closed-cell cellular stiffened shells with optimal porosity to enhance stability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108763
JournalInternational Journal of Mechanical Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sept 2023


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