Using virtual testing for characterization of composite materials

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Description

Composite materials are finally providing uses hitherto reserved for metals in structural systems applications – airframes and engine containment systems, wraps for repair and rehabilitation, and ballistic/blast mitigation systems. They

Composite materials are finally providing uses hitherto reserved for metals in structural systems applications – airframes and engine containment systems, wraps for repair and rehabilitation, and ballistic/blast mitigation systems. They have high strength-to-weight ratios, are durable and resistant to environmental effects, have high impact strength, and can be manufactured in a variety of shapes. Generalized constitutive models are being developed to accurately model composite systems so they can be used in implicit and explicit finite element analysis. These models require extensive characterization of the composite material as input. The particular constitutive model of interest for this research is a three-dimensional orthotropic elasto-plastic composite material model that requires a total of 12 experimental stress-strain curves, yield stresses, and Young’s Modulus and Poisson’s ratio in the material directions as input. Sometimes it is not possible to carry out reliable experimental tests needed to characterize the composite material. One solution is using virtual testing to fill the gaps in available experimental data. A Virtual Testing Software System (VTSS) has been developed to address the need for a less restrictive method to characterize a three-dimensional orthotropic composite material. The system takes in the material properties of the constituents and completes all 12 of the necessary characterization tests using finite element (FE) models. Verification and validation test cases demonstrate the capabilities of the VTSS.