Prediction of fiber orientation structure for injection molded short fiber composites
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Structure of fiber orientation in injection molded short fiber composites is predicted by the numerical analysis. To analyze the packing stage as well as the filling stage, a compressible generalized Hele-Shaw model is adopted. A numerical scheme free from coordinate transformation is developed for three-dimensional shell-like geometry. Flow-induced fiber orientation can be predicted by solving evolution equations for the orientation tensor with a suitable closure approximation. Fibers are mainly oriented toward the flow direction near the top cavity wall due to high shear rates, while they are randomly oriented near the centerline of cavity where low shear rates prevail. Thus, the molded parts show the skin-core structure of orientation. Structure of fiber orientation continues to change during the packing stage due to additional velocity gradients – which are likely to align fibers more towards the flow direction.
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