Xu, H., Li, Y., and Zeng, D., "Process Integration and Optimization of ICME Carbon Fiber Composites for Vehicle Lightweighting: A Preliminary Development," SAE Int. J. Mater. Manf. 10(3):2017, doi:10.4271/2017-01-0229.
Process integration and optimization is the key enabler of the Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) of carbon fiber composites. In this work, automated workflows are developed for two types of composites: Sheet Molding Compounds (SMC) short fiber composites, and multi-layer unidirectional (UD) composites. For SMC, the proposed workflow integrates material processing simulation, microstructure representation volume element (RVE) models, material property prediction and structure preformation simulation to enable multiscale, multidisciplinary analysis and design. Processing parameters, microstructure parameters and vehicle subframe geometry parameters are defined as the design variables; the stiffness and weight of the structure are defined as the responses. For multi-layer UD structure, this work focuses on the discussion of different design representation methods and their impacts on the optimization performance. Challenges in ICME process integration and optimization are also summarized and highlighted. Two case studies are conducted to demonstrate the integrated process and its application in optimization.