Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription Access

Representation, Characterization and Simulation of Tool-Part Interaction and Its Effects on Process-Induced Deformations in Composites



The interaction between a tool and part during composites processing contributes to the formation of residual stresses and dimensional changes. A resultant mismatch of part geometries during assembly can cause a potential loss of mechanical performance in aerospace structures. Costly shimming steps are needed to compensate for processinduced deformations and satisfy specifications on mechanical performance. Due to difficulties associated with accurate measurement of interfacial shear stresses, current analysis methods fail to represent the interaction between a tool and part throughout processing. A combined approach to represent, characterize, and simulate tool-part interaction and its effects on dimensional changes is proposed. First, a characterization method was established using a custom Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA) shear test setup to measure tool-part interfacial stress development in a simulated autoclave curing environment. Tool-part interfacial stresses were characterized for Toray T800S/3900-2 UD prepreg as a function of temperature, degree of cure, strain rate, and tool surface condition. Then, a previously developed numerical model was modified to include the effects of tool-part interaction in predicting dimensional changes of L-shape parts. For validation, composite parts were fabricated on tools with different surface conditions and successfully compared to simulation results. This paper demonstrates that tool-part interaction significantly impacts the spring-in of angled composite parts. The proposed method is a comprehensive and practical approach to study and simulate the effects of tool-part interaction. The results of this paper can be used to understand the complex interaction between a tool and part throughout processing and potentially mitigate processinduced deformations.


Full Text:



Zobeiry, N., A. Forghani, C. Li, K. Gordnian, R. Thorpe, R. Vaziri, G. Fernlund, A. Poursartip.

“Multiscale characterization and representation of composite materials during processing,”

Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A, 374: 20150278.

Li, C., N. Zobeiry, S. Chatterjee, and A. Poursartip. 2014. “Advances in the characterization of

residual stress in composite structures,” in SAMPE Conf., Society for the Advancement of Material

and Process Engineering, Seattle, WA.

Twigg, G., A. Poursartip, and G. Fernlund. 2004. “Tool–part interaction in composites processing.

Part I: experimental investigation and analytical model,” Composites Part A: Applied Science and

Manufacturing, 35(1): 121-133.

Twigg, G., A. Poursartip, and G. Fernlund. 2004. “Tool–part interaction in composites processing.

Part II: numerical modelling,” Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 35(1): 135-

Potter, K. D., M. Campbell, C. Langer, and M. R. Wisnom. 2005. “The generation of geometrical

deformations due to tool/part interaction in the manufacture of composite components,” Composites

Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 36(2): 301-308.

Twigg, G., A. Poursartip, and G. Fernlund. 2003. “An experimental method for quantifying tool–

part shear interaction during composites processing,” Composites Science and Technology, 63(13):


Ersoy, N., K. Potter, M. R. Wisnom, and M. J. Clegg. 2005. “An experimental method to study the

frictional processes during composites manufacturing,” Composites Part A: Applied Science and

Manufacturing, 36(11): 1536-1544.

Zappino, E., N. Zobeiry, M. Petrolo, R. Vaziri, E. Carrera, and A. Poursartip. 2020. “Analysis of

process-induced deformations and residual stresses in curved composite parts considering

transverse shear stress and thickness stretching,” Composite Structures, 241: 112057.

Fernlund G., C. Mobuchon, and N. Zobeiry. 2018. “2.3 Autoclave Processing,” in Comprehensive

Composite Materials II, P.W.R. Beaumont and C.H. Zweben, eds. Oxford: Academic Press, pp. 42-

Zobeiry N. and A. Poursartip. 2015. “The origins of residual stress and its evaluation in composite

materials,” in Structural Integrity and Durability of Advanced Composites, P.W.R. Beaumont, S.

Soutis, and A. Hodzic, eds. Woodhead Publishing, pp. 43-72.

Kaushik, V. and J. Raghavan. 2010. “Experimental study of tool–part interaction during autoclave

processing of thermoset polymer composite structures,” Composites Part A: Applied Science and

Manufacturing, 41(9): 1210–1218.

Albert, C. and G. Fernlund. 2002. “Spring-in and warpage of angled composite laminates,”

Composites Science and Technology, 62(14): 1895–1912.

Ersoy, N. and M. Tugutlu. 2010. “Cure kinetics modeling and cure shrinkage behavior of a

thermosetting composite,” Polymer Engineering & Science, 50(1): 84–92.


  • There are currently no refbacks.