Effect of the curing process on the transverse tensile strength of fiber-reinforced polymer matrix lamina using micromechanics computations
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The effect of the curing process on the mechanical response of fiber-reinforced polymer matrix composites is studied using a computational model. Computations are performed using the finite element (FE) method at the microscale where representative volume elements (RVEs) are analyzed with periodic boundary conditions (PBCs). The commercially available finite element (FE) package ABAQUS is used as the solver, supplemented by user-written subroutines. The transition from a continuum to damage/failure is effected by using the Bažant-Oh crack band model, which preserves mesh objectivity. Results are presented for a hexagonally packed RVE whose matrix portion is first subjected to curing and subsequently to mechanical loading. The effect of the fiber packing randomness on the microstructure is analyzed by considering multi-fiber RVEs where fiber volume fraction is held constant but with random packing of fibers. The possibility of failure is accommodated throughout the analysis—failure can take place during the curing process prior to the application of in-service mechanical loads. The analysis shows the differences in both the cured RVE strength and stiffness, when cure-induced damage has and has not been taken into account.
KeywordsCuring Stress evolution Periodic boundary condition Crack band model
The authors thank Dr. Pascal Meyer and Dr. Christian Heinrich, of the Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Prof. Pavana Prabhakar, Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Texas, El-Paso, for support with the user-defined subroutines used in the present work. The support of the Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and the William E. Boeing Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the University of Washington, Seattle, is gratefully acknowledged.
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