When a thick laminate is subjected to bending, under certain boundary conditions, wrinkles may appear and develop due to the inextensibility of the fibers. Wrinkling is one of the most critical defects in composite manufacturing. Numerical simulation of the onset and growth of such wrinkles is an important tool for defining optimal process parameters. Herein, several bending experiments of thick laminates are presented. They were found to lead to severe wrinkling and delamination of different kinds. It is shown that the history of loading changed the developed wrinkles. Stress resultant shell finite elements specific to textile reinforcement forming show their relevance to provide, for these wrinkles induced by bending, results in good agreement with the experiments, both with regard to the onset of the wrinkles and to their development. This numerical approach was used to improve the understanding of the phenomena involved in wrinkling and to define the conditions required to avoid it in a given process.
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