Full Length Research Paper
The present investigation aims to validate finite element method (FEM) in micromechanical analysis of a unidirectional continuous fiber reinforced composites and experimental verification of results in case of fiber-matrix debond. Available analytical models are reviewed, compared and are seldom in agreement with each other in case of transverse modulus of unidirectional continuous fiber reinforced composites. Reasons for variation of these models are analyzed and their limitations are discussed. FEM of a square representative volume element (RVE) are developed to simulate various conditions such as matrix/fiber dominated cases (in volume and stiffness) and fiber-matrix interface debond in ANSYS v12 to facilitate comparison with the available analytical results. Numerical results are compared with the approximate as well as exact analytical models and are found to be in very close agreement with exact analytical results. To simulate fiber reinforced composite behavior close to a mathematical model of square RVE, a specimen with a combination of two metals is designed, fabricated and tested to determine the transverse modulus. FEM of a regular square RVE is modified to suit the specimen conditions such as finite dimensions relative to fiber and possible fiber-matrix interface debond. FEM results are found to be in good agreement with the experimental results and thus the validity and applicability of FEM in predicting transverse modulus of fiber reinforced composites is established.
Key words: Fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites, micromechanics, transverse Young’s modulus, fiber-matrix debond.
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