A multiscale modelling approach was developed in order to estimate the effect of defects on the strength of unidirectional carbon fiber composites. The work encompasses a micromechanics approach, where the known reinforcement and matrix properties are experimentally verified and a 3D finite element model is meshed directly from micrographs. Boundary conditions for loading the micromechanical model are derived from macroscale finite element simulations of the component in question. Using a microscale model based on the actual microstructure, material parameters and load case allows realistic estimation of the effect of a defect. The modelling approach was tested with a unidirectional carbon fiber composite beam, from which the micromechanical model was created and experimentally validated. The effect of porosity was simulated using a resin-rich area in the microstructure and the results were compared to experimental work on samples containing pores.
- Carbon fiber composite
- Experimental mechanics