A small-strain model to simulate the curing of thermosets
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This contribution presents a newly developed phenomenological model to describe the curing process of thermosets undergoing small strain deformations. The governing equations are derived from a number of physical and chemical presuppositions and details of the numerical implementation within the finite element method are given. The curing of thermosets is a very complex process involving a series of chemical reactions which result in the conversion of liquid low molecular weight monomer mixtures into highly cross-linked solid macromolecular structures. This phase transition from a viscous fluid to a viscoelastic solid can be modelled by a constitutive relation which is based on a temporal evolution of shear modulus and relaxation time. Some numerical examples demonstrate the capability of the model to correctly represent the evolution of elastic and inelastic material properties as well as the volume shrinkage taking place during the curing process.
KeywordsCuring Thermosets Viscoelasticity Stiffness increase Volume shrinkage
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