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Equivalent Mechanical and Thermal Properties of Composite Materials in Lamina, Laminate and Structure Levels



Structures made of fibrous composite materials are heterogeneous in nature due to different geometrical orientations of fibers in a laminate. To analyze these structures, it is extremely difficult and time consuming to retain their true structural representation. To overcome this difficulty, homogenized material properties can be evaluated for different levels, so- called equivalent property, which is usually adopted. In this homogenization approach, macroscopic homogeneity and their characteristics of structural response need to be considered. In this study, equivalent properties of a composite in lamina, laminate and structural levels are defined as the properties of a homogeneous orthotropic composite to represent a material’s anisotropic heterogeneous behavior. A set of equations for evaluating equivalent mechanical and thermal properties in lamina and laminates as well as structures is developed. The developed model is applied to angled lamina and various laminates. For a structural case, an I-Beam is analyzed utilizing the concept of narrow beam. Results indicate that the modified method is a significant improvement over the conventional method and can give accurate results in most composite laminate analyses.

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