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J. Compos. Sci. 2018, 2(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs2020033

A Novel CAE Method for Compression Molding Simulation of Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Thermoplastic Composite Sheet Materials

1
Toyota Research Institute North America, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, USA
2
Material Creation & Analysis Department, Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota 471-8572, Japan
3
Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
4
Moldex3d Northern America Inc., Farmington Hills, MI 48331, USA
5
Polymer Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 April 2018 / Revised: 16 May 2018 / Accepted: 30 May 2018 / Published: 1 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Discontinuous Fiber Composites)
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Abstract

Its high-specific strength and stiffness with lower cost make discontinuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic (FRT) materials an ideal choice for lightweight applications in the automotive industry. Compression molding is one of the preferred manufacturing processes for such materials as it offers the opportunity to maintain a longer fiber length and higher volume production. In the past, we have demonstrated that compression molding of FRT in bulk form can be simulated by treating melt flow as a continuum using the conservation of mass and momentum equations. However, the compression molding of such materials in sheet form using a similar approach does not work well. The assumption of melt flow as a continuum does not hold for such deformation processes. To address this challenge, we have developed a novel simulation approach. First, the draping of the sheet was simulated as a structural deformation using the explicit finite element approach. Next, the draped shape was compressed using fluid mechanics equations. The proposed method was verified by building a physical part and comparing the predicted fiber orientation and warpage measurements performed on the physical parts. The developed method and tools are expected to help in expediting the development of FRT parts, which will help achieve lightweight targets in the automotive industry. View Full-Text
Keywords: compression molding; sheet material; computer-aided engineering (CAE); draping; recycled carbon fibers compression molding; sheet material; computer-aided engineering (CAE); draping; recycled carbon fibers
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Song, Y.; Gandhi, U.; Sekito, T.; Vaidya, U.K.; Hsu, J.; Yang, A.; Osswald, T. A Novel CAE Method for Compression Molding Simulation of Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Thermoplastic Composite Sheet Materials. J. Compos. Sci. 2018, 2, 33.

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