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Title: Finite element analysis of glass fibre reinforced thermoplastic composites for structural automotive components
Author: Wilson, Martin J.
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2003
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This thesis describes the investigation and development of damage modelling techniques for woven long glass fibre reinforced polypropylene matrix composites. The objective of the work was to develop and validate predictive models for the intralaminar damage behaviour of these materials, with the aim of applying the results to an industrial demonstrator component. Two damage modelling methods were investigated. The first, based on ply-level failure criteria and implemented in an implicit finite element code, was developed and validated using a range of coupon tests for a balanced weave 60% weight fraction commingled glass/polypropylene composite. The second method utilised a model previously implemented in the commercial explicit finite element code, PAMCRASH. This model was calibrated and validated using the same coupon tests as the first model. The models were subsequently used to simulate an industrial demonstrator component, during a two-phase design and development programme. The demonstrator, an automotive side intrusion beam, was designed and predictively modelled using the two damage modelling techniques investigated. Finally, the composite component was compared to a steel side intrusion beam, using a quasi-static vehicle test to a current legislative standard. This test showed comparable performance in terms of strength and stiffness for the two beams. It was concluded that the implicit finite element damage modelling technique can account for the damage and failure modes observed in a woven glass fibre reinforced polypropylene composite, but is limited when considering high levels of material nonlinearity and damage development, due to the stability of the implicit finite element method. It was also concluded that the explicit finite element technique was more suited to the simulation of damage development in thermoplastic matrix composite components, although the research showed that the model investigated was limited when considering shear damaging behaviour in a woven fibre reinforced composite.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)