Integrated Computational Tools for Flow and Progressive Damage Analysis of Discontinuous Long-Fiber Thermoplastic Composite Part
Discontinuous long-fiber (DLF) thermoplastic composites are introduced to provide complexshaped composite parts. DLF parts not only offer up to 50 percent weight savings compared to their metal counterparts, but they also replace complex multi-piece metal assemblies with consolidated net-shape compression molded parts. The structural performance prediction of DLF components is more challenging than the performance prediction for traditional continuous fiber composite or metal parts due to a number of factors, including random fiber orientations, effects of material flow on fiber orientation, limited material data, and nonlinearity in material behavior. Integrated computational tools are, therefore, used to couple the material flow and micromechanics-based multi-scale stress analyses for the fiber orientation, nonlinear, and progressive damage analyses of DLF composite parts. One example of a complex-shaped netmolded DLF application is an aircraft bracket with a molded-in lug hole. The integrated computational tools are applied to two different configurations of the bracket, with and without a molded-in bushing inside the lug hole. Material flow simulations are performed to predict the fiber orientations in both of the configurations. Predicted fiber orientations obtained from the flow analysis tool are transferred to the corresponding finite element models for structural analysis. Nonlinear and progressive damage analyses are performed to predict and compare the structural performances of the different bracket configurations. Use of the integrated computational tools provides good predictive capabilities for the fiber orientations, nonlinear response, and ultimate load of the DLF composite brackets.
Authors: M. Hakan Kilic, Ph.D., Joo H. Han, Ph.D.
Conference: CAMX 2016 – Anaheim