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research-article

Experimental Characterization and Numerical Modeling of the Interaction Between Carbon Fiber Composite Prepregs During a Preforming Process

[+] Author and Article Information
Weizhao Zhang

Northwestern University 2145 Sheridan Road, Room B224, Evanston, IL, 60201
weizhaozhang2014@u.northwestern.edu

Xuan Ma

Northwestern University Harbin Engineering University #703, Dongli Building, 145 Nantong Street, Harbin, P.R. China, 150001
maxuan@hrbeu.edu.cn

Jie Lu

Northwestern University 2145 Sheridan Road, Room B224, Evanston, IL, 60201
jielu2012@u.northwestern.edu

Zixuan Zhang

Northwestern University 2145 Sheridan Road, Room B224, Evanston, IL, 60201
zixuanzhang2018@u.northwestern.edu

Qian Jane Wang

Northwestern University 2145 Sheridan Road, Room B224, Evanston, IL, 60201
qwang@northwestern.edu

Xuming Su

Ford Motor Company 2101 Village Rd, Dearborn, MI 48124
xsu1@ford.com

Danielle Zeng

Ford Motor Company 2101 Village Rd, Dearborn, MI 48124
dzeng@ford.com

Mansour Mirdamadi

Dow Chemical Company 1250 Harmon Rd, Auburn Hills, MI 48326
MMirdamadi@dow.com

Jian Cao

Northwestern University 2145 Sheridan Road, Room B224, Evanston, IL, 60201
jcao@northwestern.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039979 History: Received January 27, 2018; Revised March 21, 2018

Abstract

Carbon fiber reinforced composites have received growing attentions because of their superior performance and high potential for lightweight systems. An economic method to manufacture the parts made of these composites is a sequence of forming followed by a compression molding. The first step in this sequence is called preforming that forms the prepreg, which is the fabric impregnated with the uncured resin, to the product geometry, while the molding process cures the resin. Slip between different prepreg layers is observed in the preforming step, and it is believed to have a nonnegligible impact on the resulting geometry. This paper reports a method to characterize the interaction between different prepreg layers, which should be valuable for future predictive modeling and design optimization. An experimental device was built to evaluate the interactions with respect to various industrial production conditions. The experimental results were analyzed for an in-depth understanding about how temperature, relative sliding speed, and fiber orientation affect the tangential interaction between two prepreg layers. Moreover, a hydro-lubricant model was introduced to study the relative motion mechanism of this fabric-resin-fabric system, and the results agreed well with the experiment data. The interaction factors obtained from this research will be implemented in a preforming process finite element simulation model.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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