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A Multi-Scale Viscoelastic Processing Model for Predicting Residual Stress Buildup in Thermoset Composites



The focus of this paper is to develop an experimentally validated viscoelastic processing model to predict the residual stress buildup and stress relaxation in fiber reinforced composites in the curing process. Providing elastic properties of carbon fiber and cure-dependent viscoelastic properties of the resin, the effective viscoelastic properties of the composite are calculated based on the correspondence principle of viscoelasticity, and the Rule of Mixtures (ROM) is used to compute the composite properties in the frequency domain. The computed composite properties are then incorporated in a viscoelastic constitutive law to capture the cure-induced residual stress. The accuracy of our proposed processing model is assessed by comparing the deformed shape of the composite part predicted by the finite element model to that of a laminate fabricated using Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Molding (VARTM) technique. Compared with our previous elastic models, the proposed viscoelastic processing model is able to provide more accurate predictions on the cure-induced warpage of the composite part after demolding.


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