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Open AccessArticle

Experimental and Numerical Studies on Fiber Deformation and Formability in Thermoforming Process Using a Fast-Cure Carbon Prepreg: Effect of Stacking Sequence and Mold Geometry

1
Advanced Materials Engineering, University of Science and Technology (UST), 217 Gajeong-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34113, Korea
2
Korea Institute of Materials Science (KIMS), 797 Changwon-daero, Changwon, Gyungnam 51508, Korea
3
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), 78 Gongdanro 1-ro, Sanam-myeon, Sacheon, Gyungnam 52529, Korea
4
School of Mechanical Engineering, Chonnam National University, 77 Yongbong-ro, Buk-gu, Gwangju 61186, Korea
5
Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Pusan National University, 2 Busandaehak-ro 63beon-gil, Geumjeong-gu, Busan 46241, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2018, 11(5), 857; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11050857
Received: 20 April 2018 / Revised: 14 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 21 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Fibers and Their Composite Materials)
A fast-cure carbon fiber/epoxy prepreg was thermoformed against a replicated automotive roof panel mold (square-cup) to investigate the effect of the stacking sequence of prepreg layers with unidirectional and plane woven fabrics and mold geometry with different drawing angles and depths on the fiber deformation and formability of the prepreg. The optimum forming condition was determined via analysis of the material properties of epoxy resin. The non-linear mechanical properties of prepreg at the deformation modes of inter- and intra-ply shear, tensile and bending were measured to be used as input data for the commercial virtual forming simulation software. The prepreg with a stacking sequence containing the plain-woven carbon prepreg on the outer layer of the laminate was successfully thermoformed against a mold with a depth of 20 mm and a tilting angle of 110°. Experimental results for the shear deformations at each corner of the thermoformed square-cup product were compared with the simulation and a similarity in the overall tendency of the shear angle in the path at each corner was observed. The results are expected to contribute to the optimization of parameters on materials, mold design and processing in the thermoforming mass-production process for manufacturing high quality automotive parts with a square-cup geometry. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermoforming; prepreg; carbon fiber; fast-cure epoxy resin thermoforming; prepreg; carbon fiber; fast-cure epoxy resin
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Bae, D.; Kim, S.; Lee, W.; Yi, J.W.; Um, M.K.; Seong, D.G. Experimental and Numerical Studies on Fiber Deformation and Formability in Thermoforming Process Using a Fast-Cure Carbon Prepreg: Effect of Stacking Sequence and Mold Geometry. Materials 2018, 11, 857.

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