The method of conditional moments is generalized to include evaluation of the effective elastic properties of particulate nanomaterials and to investigate the size effect in those materials. Determining the effective constants necessitates finding a stochastically averaged solution to the fundamental equations of linear elasticity coupled with surface/interface conditions (Gurtin-Murdoch model). To obtain such a solution the system of governing stochastic differential equations is first transformed to an equivalent system of stochastic integral equations. Using statistical averaging, the boundary-value problem is then converted to an infinite system of linear algebraic equations. A two-point approximation is considered and the stress fluctuations within the inclusions are neglected in order to obtain a finite system of algebraic equations in terms of component-average strains. Closed-form expressions are derived for the effective moduli of a composite consisting of a matrix and randomly distributed spherical inhomogeneities. As a numerical example a nanoporous material is investigated assuming a model in which the interface effects influence only the bulk modulus of the material. In that model the resulting shear modulus is the same as for the material without surface effects. Dependence of the bulk moduli on the radius of nanopores and on the pore volume fraction is analyzed. The results are compared to, and discussed in the context of other theoretical predictions.
- Composites of stochastic structure
- Effective properties
- Gurtin-Murdoch interface conditions
- Size dependence
- Spherical nanoparticles