An integrated computational materials engineering framework to analyze the failure behaviors of carbon fiber reinforced polymer composites for lightweight vehicle applications
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A bottom-up multi-scale modeling approach is used to develop an Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) framework for carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites, which has the potential to reduce development to deployment lead time for structural applications in lightweight vehicles. In this work, we develop and integrate computational models comprising of four size scales to fully describe and characterize three types of CFRP composites. In detail, the properties of the interphase region are determined by an analytical gradient model and molecular dynamics analysis at the nano-scale, which is then incorporated into micro-scale unidirectional (UD) representative volume element (RVE) models to characterize the failure strengths and envelopes of UD CFRP composites. Then, the results are leveraged to propose an elasto-plastic-damage constitutive law for UD composites to study the fiber tows of woven composites as well as the chips of sheet molding compound (SMC) composites. Subsequently, the failure mechanisms and failure strengths of woven and SMC composites are predicted by the meso-scale RVE models. Finally, building upon the models and results from lower scales, we show that a homogenized macro-scale model can capture the mechanical performance of a hat-section-shaped part under four-point bending. Along with the model integration, we will also demonstrate that the computational results are in good agreement with experiments conducted at different scales. The present study illustrates the potential and significance of integrated multi-scale computational modeling tools that can virtually evaluate the performance of CFRP composites and provide design guidance for CFRP composites used in structural applications.
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