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Evaluation of Test Methods for Triaxially Braided Composites Using a Meso-scale Finite Element Model



The characterization of triaxially braided composite is complicate due to the nonuniformity of deformation within the unit cell as well as the possibility of the freeedge effect related to the large size of the unit cell. Extensive experimental investigation has been conducted to develop more accurate test approaches in characterizing the actual mechanical properties of the material we are studying. In this work, a meso-scale finite element model is utilized to simulate two complex specimens: notched tensile specimen and tube tensile specimen, which are designed to avoid the free-edge effect and free-edge effect induced premature edge damage. The full field strain data is predicted numerically and compared with experimental data obtained by Digit Image Correlation. The numerically predicted tensile strength values are compared with experimentally measured results. The discrepancy between numerically predicted and experimentally measured data, the capability of different test approaches are analyzed and discussed. The presented numerical model could serve as assistance to the evaluation of different test methods, and is especially useful in identifying potential local damage events.

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