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Failure of chopped carbon fiber Sheet Molding Compound (SMC) composites under uniaxial tensile loading: Computational prediction and experimental analysis

Author:
Chen, Zhangxing, Tang, Haibin, Shao, Yimin, Sun, Qingping, Zhou, Guowei, Li, Yang, Xu, Hongyi, Zeng, Danielle, Su, Xuming
Source:
Composites 2019 v.118 pp. 117-130
ISSN:
1359-835X
Subject:
algorithms, carbon fibers, composite materials, models, prediction
Abstract:
This paper presents a computational framework to predict the tensile failure of chopped carbon fiber SMC composites based on the Representative Volume Element (RVE) model. In the framework, a conforming mesh-based reconstruction algorithm is developed to generate mesostructure RVE models of SMC based on the statistical characteristics. Moreover, constitutive models are proposed for the three phases in SMC composites: fiber chip, matrix, and interface. The model predictions are validated by coupon-level experimental tests on SMC samples of various chip orientation distributions. The meso-scale failure mechanism and failure strength predicted by the RVE models are in good agreement with the experimental results. The presented study demonstrates the capability of the present modeling framework in the design of composites materials with complex micro- and meso- structure.