Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 43, Issue 20, pp 6642–6650 | Cite as

Hierarchical modelling of a polymer matrix composite

  • Joel P. Foreman
  • Shabnam Behzadi
  • David Porter
  • Paul T. Curtis
  • Frank R. JonesEmail author
Stretching the Endurance Boundary of Composite Materials: Pushing the Performance Limits of Composite Structures


A hierarchical modelling scheme to predict the properties of a polymer matrix composite is introduced. The stress–strain curves of amine-cured tetraglycidyl 4,4′-diaminodiphenylmethane (TGDDM) cured have been predicted using group interaction modelling (GIM). The GIM method, originally applied primarily to linear polymers, has been significantly extended to give accurate, consistent results for TGDDM, a highly crosslinked two-component matrix. The model predicts a complete range of temperature-dependent properties, from fundamental energy contributions, through engineering moduli to full stress–strain curves through yield. The predicted properties compare very well with experiment. Using the GIM-predicted TGDDM stress–strain curve, a 3D finite element model is used to obtain strain concentration factors (SCF) of fibres adjacent to a fibre break in a unidirectional (UD) composite. The strain distribution among the intact neighbouring fibres is clearly affected by the yielding mechanism in the resin matrix. A Monte Carlo simulation is carried out to predict the tensile failure strain of a single composite layer with the thickness equal to the fibre ineffective length. The effect of matrix shear yielding is introduced to the model through the SCF of surviving fibres adjacent to the fibre-break. The tensile failure strain of the composite is then predicted using a statistical model of a chain of composite layers.


Cohesive Energy Composite Layer Applied Strain Failure Strain Break Fibre 



This work was carried out as part of Weapons and Platform Effectors Domain of the MoD Research Program. The authors would like to thank the UK EPSRC for part funding of this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joel P. Foreman
    • 1
  • Shabnam Behzadi
    • 1
  • David Porter
    • 2
  • Paul T. Curtis
    • 3
  • Frank R. Jones
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Ceramics and Composites Laboratory, Department of Engineering MaterialsUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  3. 3.Physical Sciences DepartmentDSTLWiltsUK

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