Spatial Evolution of the Thickness Variations over a CFRP Laminated Structure
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Ply thickness is one of the main drivers of the structural performance of a composite part. For stress analysis calculations (e.g., finite element analysis), composite plies are commonly considered to have a constant thickness compared to the reality (coefficients of variation up to 9% of the mean ply thickness). Unless this variability is taken into account reliable property predictions cannot be made. A modelling approach of such variations is proposed using parameters obtained from a 16-ply quasi-isotropic CFRP plate cured in an autoclave. A discrete Fourier transform algorithm is used to analyse the frequency response of the observed ply and plate thickness profiles. The model inputs, obtained by a mathematical representation of the ply thickness profiles, permit the generation of a representative stratification considering the spatial continuity of the thickness variations that are in good agreement with the real ply profiles spread over the composite part. A residual deformation FE model of the composite plate is used to illustrate the feasibility of the approach.
KeywordsVariability Composite structure Thickness Discrete fourier transform Finite element analysis (FEA) Autoclave Unidirectional prepreg
The authors would like to acknowledge CONACyT of Mexico for providing Yves Davila the financing for his PhD program. The authors would also give special thanks to Dr. Peter Davies from IFREMER Brest (France) for his invaluable comments and remarks.
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