Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science

First Advisor

Yun-Bo Yi, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Nathan Sturtevant

Third Advisor

Matthew Gordon


Monte Carlo scheme, Effective conductivity, Mechanical properties of particulate system


The effective conductivity of random particulate material system is computationally investigated using the Monte Carlo scheme and finite element method. A cubic system consisting of randomly-dispersed, equal-sized, deformable ellipsoids are modeled in this study. The steady-state conduction analysis along with a finite element analysis are performed to evaluate the electrical or thermal conductivity for the mechanical contact system. To represent more realistic material system, interfacial friction and gap conductance (or contact resistance) are included among the contacting particles. The Monte Carlo simulations are implemented to give a quantitative relationship between the effective conductivity and the inclusion volume fraction. Several parametric studies are performed to quantify the relationships, for example, (1) the particle number, (2) the particle shape, (3) the random distribution of particle, (4) the interfacial friction, (5) gap conductance. The study reveals the nonlinear relationship of the gap conductance with respect to the overall conductivity. Therefore, the mechanical properties of particulate system are strongly dependent on the interactions among inclusions. The study of microstructure of material is merited in advanced composite manufacture.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Dongfang Zhao


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

93 p.


Mechanical Engineering