UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Integrating resin flow and stress development in process modeling of thermoset composites Haghshenas, Seyed Mehdi


The usual approach to the process modeling of thermoset matrix composites is to divide the analysis into two distinct and sequential steps, first of flow-deformation behaviour and then of stress-deformation. In the current processing models, each of these two aspects is dealt with in a separate sub-model, typically called the flow module and stress module respectively. The flow module is relevant to the pre-gelation behaviour of resin, while the stress module is valid for the post-gelation composite material. In this thesis, the framework to integrate the flow and the stress modules into a unified module in finite element processing models is presented. The work is based on a two-phase model for analysis of resin flow and its resulting deformations in the composite material. Special measures are introduced to provide for additional capability of this model to account for the development of stresses in the curing composite material. These modifications are needed to ensure the accuracy of the model in both of resin flow and stress development regimes, and include the introduction of consistent compressibility in the mass conservation equation of the two-phase system, and a special decomposition of stresses of the system. The formulation is implemented for a pseudo-viscoelastic stress model in a 2D plane strain FE code in MATLAB. The approach may readily be extended to fully viscoelastic models. Various examples from single-element problems dealing with the development of residual stresses throughout a single-hold cure cycle to more geometrically complex composite laminates undergoing standard cure cycles are modeled by the integrated model and comparisons are made in one extreme to the flow-compaction behaviour by the standard flow models, and in the other extreme to the results obtained by the pseudo-viscoelastic approach. The model developed here is a promising tool for simulating processing of large-scale composite structures continuously from the very early stages of the process when the resin behaves in a fluid-like manner all the way to the final stage when it behaves as a 3D solid.

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