Flow-compacted deformations coupled with thermo-chemically induced distortions in manufacturing of thick unidirectional carbon fiber reinforced plastics composites

A. S. Ganapathi, Sunil C. Joshi*, Zhong Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A novel technique to predict the manufacturing process-induced distortions and deformations in thick unidirectional carbon fiber reinforced plastics laminates is detailed in this article. An integrated numerical model is developed to account for non-isothermal resin flow, related compaction, transient resin cure, and resin shrinkage effects to predict the final shape of the autoclave cured thick prepreg laminate. The associated physics are mathematically coupled to solve for the process variables interactively. The results illustrate reduction in the thickness of the laminate prior to the start of curing when initial fiber volume fractions are pre-set. This confirms that the initial transverse deformation of B-stage prepreg is due to the applied vacuum and/or pressure. Once curing initiates, deformation of the laminate due to compaction increases, proportionally, with the increase in fiber volume fraction. Furthermore, the thermo-chemical residual strains contribute to additional compaction. The final distorted shape observed in simulation of the originally flat laminate matches with the shape of the fabricated laminate with 6.6 mm thickness. A solution to minimize the distortion is discussed in detail. This procedure is extended to simulate a curved laminate's processing; where, the shear moduli were observed to influence the final shape of the laminate. The findings are presented and deliberated in this article.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3325-3343
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Composite Materials
Volume50
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016

Keywords

  • compaction
  • cure shrinkage
  • distortions
  • residual deformation
  • Thick composites

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