In this paper the influence of microstructure on the free vibration of geometrically similar heterogeneous beams with free-free boundary conditions was numerically investigated by detailed finite element analysis (FEA) to identify and quantify any effect of beam size on transverse modal frequencies when the microstructural scale is comparable to the overall size. ANSYS Mechanical APDL was used to generate specific unit cells at the microstructural scale comprised of two isotropic materials with different material properties. Unit cell variants containing voids and inclusions were considered. At the macroscopic scale, four beam sizes consisting of one, two, three or four layers of defined unit cells were represented by repeatedly regenerating the unit cell as necessary. In all four beam sizes the aspect ratio was kept constant. Changes to the volume fractions of each material were introduced while keeping the homogenized properties of the beam fixed. The influence of the beam surface morphology on the results was also investigated. The ANSYS results were compared with the analytical results from solution to Timoshenko beam and nonlocal Timoshenko beam as well as numerical results for a Micropolar beam. In nonlocal Timoshenko beams the Eringen’s small length scale coefficients were estimated for some of the studied models. Numerical analyses based on Micropolar theory were carried out to study the modal frequencies and a method was suggested to estimate characteristic length in bending and coupling number via transverse vibration which verifies the use of Micropolar elasticity theory in dynamic analysis.
- free vibration
- heterogeneous beams
- finite element analysis (FEA)
- microstructural scale