Li, Y., Zhao, Q., Mirdamadi, M., Zeng, D. et al., "Finite Element Simulation of Compression Molding of Woven Fabric Carbon Fiber/Epoxy Composites: Part I Material Model Development," SAE Int. J. Mater. Manf. 9(3):729-736, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-0498.
Woven fabric carbon fiber/epoxy composites made through compression molding are one of the promising choices of material for the vehicle light-weighting strategy. Previous studies have shown that the processing conditions can have substantial influence on the performance of this type of the material. Therefore the optimization of the compression molding process is of great importance to the manufacturing practice. An efficient way to achieve the optimized design of this process would be through conducting finite element (FE) simulations of compression molding for woven fabric carbon fiber/epoxy composites. However, performing such simulation remains a challenging task for FE as multiple types of physics are involved during the compression molding process, including the epoxy resin curing and the complex mechanical behavior of woven fabric structure. In the present study, the FE simulation of the compression molding process of resin based woven fabric composites at continuum level is conducted, which is enabled by the implementation of an integrated material modeling methodology in LS-Dyna. Specifically, the chemo-thermo-mechanical problem of compression molding is solved through the coupling of three material models, i.e., one thermal model for temperature history in the resin, one mechanical model to update the curing-dependent properties of the resin and another mechanical model to simulate the behavior of the woven fabric composites. Preliminary simulations of the carbon fiber/epoxy woven fabric composites in LS-Dyna are presented as a demonstration, while validations and models with real part geometry are planned in the future work.