Compaction behaviour of continuous fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composites under rapid processing conditions

Mario A. Valverde*, Jonathan P.H. Belnoue, Robert Kupfer, Luiz F. Kawashita, Maik Gude, Stephen R. Hallett

*Corresponding author for this work

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


This investigation presents a methodology for the characterisation of thermoplastic composite materials under rapid processing conditions, as is needed for understanding the flow mechanisms in Unidirectional (UD) tapes. A bespoke compaction rig was designed and constructed to carry out a series of high temperature ramp-dwell loading experiments on CF/PPS (Carbon Fibre/Polyphenylene Sulphide) and CF/PEEK (Carbon Fibre/Polyetheretherketone) specimens. Significant deformations were observed above the melting points, where further increases in temperature led to gradually smaller through-thickness displacements and larger in-plane deformations. A phenomenological material model, initially developed for toughened thermosets, was applied, to assess its suitability for predicting the through-thickness behaviour of thermoplastic composites across a range of temperatures and pressures. The modelling approach was then deployed in Finite Element (FE) simulations of the compacted specimens, making use of the extracted parameters from the experimental tests.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106549
JournalComposites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the EPSRC (EP/P510427/1) and Rolls-Royce for their support of this research through the collaboration of the Composites University Technology Centre (UTC) at the University of Bristol, the Lightweight Structures & Materials UTC at the Technische Universität Dresden. The model used here was developed through the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Composites (EP/I033513) “Defect Generation Mechanisms in Thick and Variable Thickness Composite Parts - Understanding, Predicting and Mitigation” (DefGen) project and the EPSRC platform grant “SIMulation of new manufacturing Processes for Composite Structures (SIMPROCS)” (EP/P027350/1).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • (A) Thermoplastic resin
  • (C) Process modelling
  • (E) Consolidation
  • Finite Element Analysis (FEA)


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