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Effect of Boundary Conditions on Process- Induced Stresses in a Plain Weave Unit Cell



Woven polymer matrix composites (PMCs) are leveraged in aerospace applications for their desirable specific properties, yet they are vulnerable to high residual stresses during manufacturing and their complex geometry makes experimental results difficult to observe. Process modeling is needed to characterize the effects of the curing and predict end stress states. Finite element software can be used to model woven architectures, however accurate representation of processing conditions remains a challenge when it comes to selecting boundary conditions. The effect of BCs on process-induced stress within woven PMCs is studied. The commercial Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software Abaqus is coupled with user-written subroutines in a process modeling framework. A two-dimensionally (2D) woven PMC repeating unit cell (RUC) is modeled with TexGen and Abaqus. Virtual curing is imposed on the bulk matrix. The BC study is conducted with Free, Periodic, Flat, and Flat-Free configurations. Results show that the end stress state is sensitive to the boundary condition assumptions. Flat BC results show great agreement with Periodic BCs. Residual stress results from process modeling are then compared with a linear-elastic thermal cooldown analysis in Abaqus. Cooldown results indicate an overestimation in matrix stresses compared with process modeling.


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