Further developments in continuum damage modelling of composites aided by micromechanics
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An important step in development of a continuum damage model is the characterization of damage. In selecting the type of damage variables, whether scalar, vector, or higher order tensors, considerations should be given to the nature of the damage process, i.e., the geometry of the entities which dissipate energy and the manner in which the individual entities carry out the dissipation affecting the surrounding inelastic fields. In composites, additional considerations are required concerning the role of the mesostructure, i.e., the nonevolving inhomogeneity structure, in affecting the dissipative process conducted by the entities of damage. An appropriate characterization of damage in composites which can account for all the factors and effects mentioned above can certainly not be in the form of scalar variable. A vectorial characterization can account for the most essential features, e.g., the characteristic orientations of the damage entities and their characteristic dimensions that are subject to change during the dissipation process.