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High Fidelity Numerical Simulations of Textile Preform Deformation

A. Thompson, B. El Said, J.P-H. Belnoue, S. R. Hallett


The complexity of dry textile preforms is inherent in their multi-scale nature, where their behaviour at the macro-scale is dependent on the yarn interactions at the meso-scale and the fibre interactions at the micro-scale. Low internal cohesion between the individual yarns and fibres allows for large relative displacements. Consequently the internal architecture of the fibrous preform is able to deform during compaction processes ultimately changing the mechanical behaviour of the material. Therefore, for better predictability, modelling of the internal architecture of the preform must not only consider the as-woven state of the fabric but must also be able to accurately simulate the structural changes which occur to the fabric during the processing performed to achieve the final composite. The Multi-chain digital element method has proven to be a promising solution for capturing this behaviour. Initially proposed by Zhou et al. (1) the method has seen substantial development in increasing accuracy, computational efficiency and use for mechanical modelling (2, 3, 4). The present paper will explore the level of detail this method is able to capture during compaction processes and its flexibility in modelling a range of standard two dimensional woven fabrics as well as more geometrically complex non-crimp fabrics.

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