A Novel Hyper-Viscoelastic Model for Consolidation of Toughened Prepregs under Processing Conditions

Jonathan P Belnoue*, Ollie J Nixon-Pearson, Dmitry Ivanov, Stephen R Hallett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)
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The paper presents a new modelling concept for describing the compressibility of toughened uncured prepregs over a wide range of processing conditions (i.e. automatic fibre deposition, hot debulking and pre-curing consolidation). The primary challenge of the work is to simulate the material response due complex flow and deformation mechanisms. This generation of prepreg systems exhibits both percolation (bleeding) flow typical for conventional thermosets, where the pressure gradient causes resin flow relative to the fibres, and shear (squeezing) flow typical for thermoplastics, where the laminate behaves as a highly viscous incompressible fluid. As a result, it holds features of both the systems: e.g. a convergence to a certain compaction limit at high temperatures and pressure levels and size/ply configuration-dependent material response. The modelling starts from micro-structural considerations, which give the foundation for an analytical model that assumes a transition from percolation to shear flow. It is shown that this model can capture the material behaviour very well. A hyper-viscoelastic material model is then constructed and implemented within the finite element package Abaqus/Standard. The model parameters are identified from an experimental programme and validated against compaction experiments over a wide range of load rates, temperatures and laminate configurations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-134
Number of pages17
JournalMechanics of Materials
Early online date8 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016

Structured keywords

  • Bristol Composites Institute ACCIS


  • Process modelling
  • Toughened prepreg
  • Consolidation
  • Visco-elasticity
  • Finite strain
  • Consistent tangent stiffness matrix


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