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Research Papers

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

[+] Author and Article Information
Weizhao Zhang

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Northwestern University,
2145 Sheridan Road, Room B224,
Evanston, IL 60201
e-mail: weizhaozhang2014@u.northwestern.edu

Xuan Ma

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Northwestern University,
2145 Sheridan Road, Room B224,
Evanston, IL 60201;
Harbin Engineering University,
#703, Dongli Building, 145 Nantong Street,
Harbin 150001, China
e-mail: maxuan@hrbeu.edu.cn

Jie Lu

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Northwestern University,
2145 Sheridan Road, Room B224,
Evanston, IL 60201
e-mail: jielu2012@u.northwestern.edu

Zixuan Zhang

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Northwestern University,
2145 Sheridan Road, Room B224,
Evanston, IL 60201
e-mail: zixuanzhang2018@u.northwestern.edu

Q. Jane Wang

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Northwestern University,
2145 Sheridan Road, Room B224,
Evanston, IL 60201
e-mail: qwang@northwestern.edu

Xuming Su

Ford Motor Company,
2101 Village Road,
Dearborn, MI 48124
e-mail: xsu1@ford.com

Danielle Zeng

Ford Motor Company,
2101 Village Road,
Dearborn, MI 48124
e-mail: dzeng@ford.com

Mansour Mirdamadi

Dow Chemical Company,
1250 Harmon Road,
Auburn Hills, MI 48326
e-mail: MMirdamadi@dow.com

Jian Cao

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Northwestern University,
2145 Sheridan Road, Room B224,
Evanston, IL 60201
e-mail: jcao@northwestern.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received January 27, 2018; final manuscript received March 21, 2018; published online May 21, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Donggang Yao.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 140(8), 081003 (May 21, 2018) (8 pages) Paper No: MANU-18-1058; doi: 10.1115/1.4039979 History: Received January 27, 2018; Revised March 21, 2018

Carbon fiber reinforced composites have received growing attention 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 non-negligible 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.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Illustration of the prepreg structure via (a) real product photo and (b) model generated by the software texgen

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Fig. 4

Schematic of the experimental apparatus of measuring the interaction

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Fig. 3

Experimental setup for the prepreg–prepreg interaction test apparatus

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Fig. 2

Schematic of the prepreg-tool pull-out test with constant contact area

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Fig. 5

Schematic of the fiber orientations for (a) 0/90/0/90 (noted as 0 deg for simplification) and (b) 0/90/−45/+45 (noted as 45 deg for simplification) combination

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Fig. 6

Example of a real-time temperature measurement

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Fig. 7

Force and interaction factor results from the test under the conditions of 70 °C, 5 mm/s, and 0/90/0/90 fiber orientation

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Fig. 8

Steady-state interaction factor in a periodical variation subjected to the test conditions of 50 °C, 15 mm/s, for the 0/90/0/90 fiber orientation

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Fig. 10

Geometry and forces of the simulated two 2 × 2 twill fabric interface

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Fig. 12

Experimental and numerical interaction factor comparison at various speeds and 60 °C temperature. The points are moved away with the input speeds artificially for better differentiate between the data.

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Fig. 13

Fast Fourier transformation results of the numerical and experimental data

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Fig. 9

Interaction and stick-slip strength at various temperatures subjected to different (a) relative motion speed and (b) fiber orientations

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Fig. 11

(a) Experimental and numerical interaction factor comparison at various temperatures and 10 mm/s and (b) a zoom-in to 60 °C and 70 °C for clear illustration

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