Stress field analysis in a stony meteorite under thermal fatigue and mechanical loadings

B. Liang, Jefferson Cuadra, K. Hazeli, Soheil Soghrati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A micromechanical approach relying on 3D image-based finite element (FE) models, together with experimental testing, is employed to investigate the stress distribution in an L6 ordinary chondrite's microstructure subjected to thermal and mechanical loadings. An in-situ X-ray micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) setup capable of applying thermal and mechanical loads shed light on crack initiation mechanisms in chondrite samples. Micro-CT images were further used to reconstruct realistic microstructural models of the samples, which were transformed into FE models using an automated non-iterative mesh generation algorithm. FE approximation of stress fields showed that under mechanical loads, the stress often concentrates in matrix-particle interfacial regions with higher curvatures. This could result in the nucleation and eventually propagation of cracks in such regions. However, when the thermal cycling takes place, the stress concentrates more uniformly along with particle interfaces, resulting in their debonding from the surrounding matrix. Both observations were verified by experimental data obtained from in-situ micro-CT imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113381
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Asteroidal rock
  • Finite element
  • Mechanical behavior
  • Thermal fatigue
  • X-ray micro-CT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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