Special Issue "Characterization and Modelling of Composites, Volume II"

A special issue of Journal of Composites Science (ISSN 2504-477X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Stelios K. Georgantzinos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
General Department, Evripus Campus, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Psachna, Evoia, Greece
Interests: nanostructures; nanocomposites; composite structures; finite element method; design; modeling; computational analysis; nanotechnology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Composites have been increasingly used in various structural components in the aerospace, marine, automotive, and wind energy sectors. Composites’ material characterization is a vital part of the product development and production process. Physical, mechanical, and chemical characterization helps developers to further their understanding of products and materials, thus ensuring quality control. Achieving an in-depth understanding and consequent improvement of the general performance of these materials, however, still requires complex material modeling and simulation tools, which are often multiscale and encompass multiphysics.

This Special Issue is aimed at soliciting promising, recent developments in composite modeling, simulation, and characterization, in both design and manufacturing areas, including experimental as well as industrial-scale case studies. All submitted manuscripts will undergo a rigorous review and will only be considered for publication if they meet journal standards.

Prof. Dr. Stelios K. Georgantzinos
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Composites Science is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Fiber-reinforced composites
  • Unidirectional and woven reinforcements
  • Noncrimp fabrics (NCFs)
  • Three-dimensional composites
  • Nanocomposites
  • Natural fiber and biocomposites
  • Hybrid composites
  • Composite structures
  • Modeling and characterization
  • Numerical simulation
  • Experimental studies
  • Industrial case studies

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
Qualitative Investigation of Damage Initiation at Meso-Scale in Spheroidized C45EC Steels by Using Crystal Plasticity-Based Numerical Simulations
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(8), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5080222 - 20 Aug 2021
Viewed by 355
Abstract
This research uses EBSD data of two thermo-mechanically processed medium carbon (C45EC) steel samples to simulate micromechanical deformation and damage behavior. Two samples with 83% and 97% spheroidization degrees are subjected to virtual monotonic quasi-static tensile loading. The ferrite phase is assigned already [...] Read more.
This research uses EBSD data of two thermo-mechanically processed medium carbon (C45EC) steel samples to simulate micromechanical deformation and damage behavior. Two samples with 83% and 97% spheroidization degrees are subjected to virtual monotonic quasi-static tensile loading. The ferrite phase is assigned already reported elastic and plastic parameters, while the cementite particles are assigned elastic properties. A phenomenological constitutive material model with critical plastic strain-based ductile damage criterion is implemented in the DAMASK framework for the ferrite matrix. At the global level, the calibrated material model response matches well with experimental results, with up to ~97% accuracy. The simulation results provide essential insight into damage initiation and propagation based on the stress and strain localization due to cementite particle size, distribution, and ferrite grain orientations. In general, it is observed that the ferrite–cementite interface is prone to damage initiation at earlier stages triggered by the cementite particle clustering. Furthermore, it is observed that the crystallographic orientation strongly affects the stress and stress localization and consequently nucleating initial damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Modelling of Composites, Volume II)
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Article
Numerical Study of Soil-Thawing Effect of Composite Piles Using GMsFEM
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(7), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5070167 - 28 Jun 2021
Viewed by 316
Abstract
During construction works, it is advisable to prevent strong thawing and an increase in the moisture content of the foundations of engineering structures in the summer. Since the density of water and ice differ, due to the difference bulging of the foundation sections [...] Read more.
During construction works, it is advisable to prevent strong thawing and an increase in the moisture content of the foundations of engineering structures in the summer. Since the density of water and ice differ, due to the difference bulging of the foundation sections can occur when it freezes back in winter. In this work, the effect of fiber-reinforced piles on the thermal field of the surrounding soil is investigated numerically; that is, the study of the influence of aggregates with high and low thermal-physical properties on the temperature of frozen soils is conducted. Basalt and steel fiber reinforcement are compared. The difficulty of this work is that the inclusions inside piles are too small compared to the pile itself. Therefore, to solve the Stefan problem, a generalized multiscale finite element method (GMsFEM) was used. In the GMsFEM, the usual conforming partition of the domain into a coarse grid was used. It allowed reducing problem size and, consequently, accelerating the calculations. Results of the multiscale solution were compared with fine-scale solution, the accuracy of GMsFEM was investigated, and the optimal solution parameters were defined. Therefore, GMsFEM was shown to be well suited for the designated task. Collation of basalt and steel fiber reinforcement showed a beneficial effect of high thermal conductive material inclusion on freezing of piles in winter. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Modelling of Composites, Volume II)
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Article
A Multi-Scale Method for Designing Hybrid Fiber-Reinforced Composite Drive Shafts with Carbon Nanotube Inclusions
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(6), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5060157 - 10 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 685
Abstract
In this paper, the modal and linear buckling analysis of a laminated composite drive shaft reinforced by 11 multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) was carried out using an analytical approach, as well as the finite element method (FEM). The theoretical model is based on [...] Read more.
In this paper, the modal and linear buckling analysis of a laminated composite drive shaft reinforced by 11 multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) was carried out using an analytical approach, as well as the finite element method (FEM). The theoretical model is based on classical laminated theory (CLT). The fundamental frequency and the critical buckling torque were determined for different fiber orientation angles. The Halpin–Tsai model was employed to calculate the elastic modulus of composites having randomly oriented nanotubes. The effect of various carbon nanotube (CNT) volume fractions in the epoxy resin matrix on the material properties of unidirectional composite laminas was also analyzed. The fundamental frequency and the critical buckling torque obtained by the finite element analysis and the analytical method for different fiber orientation angles were in good agreement with each other. The results were verified with data available in the open literature, where possible. For the first time in the literature, the influence of CNT fillers on various composite drive shaft design parameters such as the fundamental frequency, critical speed, and critical buckling torque of a hybrid fiber-reinforced composite drive shaft is finally predicted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Modelling of Composites, Volume II)
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Article
Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Green Insulation Composites Made from Cannabis and Bark Residues
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(5), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5050132 - 17 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 457
Abstract
The objective of this paper was to investigate the technical feasibility of manufacturing low density insulation particleboards that were made from two renewable resources, namely hemp fibers (Cannabis sativa) and pine tree bark, which were bonded with a non-toxic methyl cellulose [...] Read more.
The objective of this paper was to investigate the technical feasibility of manufacturing low density insulation particleboards that were made from two renewable resources, namely hemp fibers (Cannabis sativa) and pine tree bark, which were bonded with a non-toxic methyl cellulose glue, as a binder. Four types of panels were made, which consisted of varying mixtures of tree bark and hemp fibers (tree bark to hemp fibers percentages of 90:10, 80:20, 70:30, and 60:40). An additional set of panels was made, consisting only of bark. The results showed that addition of hemp fibers to furnish improved mechanical properties of boards to reach an acceptable level. The thermal conductivity unfavorably increased as hemp content increased, though all values were still within the acceptable range. Based on cluster analysis, board type 70:30 (with 30% hemp content) produced the highest mechanical properties as well as the optimal thermal conductivity value. It is concluded that low density insulation boards can be successfully produced using these waste raw materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Modelling of Composites, Volume II)
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Article
Assessment of Analytical Orientation Prediction Models for Suspensions Containing Fibers and Spheres
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(4), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5040107 - 13 Apr 2021
Viewed by 462
Abstract
Analytical orientation models like the Folgar Tucker (FT) model are widely applied to predict the orientation of suspended non-spherical particles. The accuracy of these models depends on empirical model parameters. In this work, we assess how well analytical orientation models can predict the [...] Read more.
Analytical orientation models like the Folgar Tucker (FT) model are widely applied to predict the orientation of suspended non-spherical particles. The accuracy of these models depends on empirical model parameters. In this work, we assess how well analytical orientation models can predict the orientation of suspensions not only consisting of fibers but also of an additional second particle type in the shape of disks, which are varied in size and filling fraction. We mainly focus on the FT model, and we also compare its accuracy to more complex models like Reduced-Strain Closure model (RSC), Moldflow Rotational Diffusion model (MRD), and Anisotropic Rotary Diffusion model (ARD). In our work, we address the following questions. First, can the FT model predict the orientation of suspensions despite the additional particle phase affecting the rotation of the fibers? Second, is it possible to formulate an expression for the sole Folgar Tucker model parameter that is based on the suspension composition? Third, is there an advantage to choose more complex orientation prediction models that require the adjustment of additional model parameters? Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Modelling of Composites, Volume II)
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Article
Multiscale Characterization of E-Glass/Epoxy Composite Exposed to Extreme Environmental Conditions
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030080 - 12 Mar 2021
Viewed by 450
Abstract
Fiber-reinforced polymer matrix composites continue to attract scientific and industrial interest since they offer superior strength-, stiffness-, and toughness-to-weight ratios. The research herein characterizes two sets of E-Glass/Epoxy composite skins: stressed and unstressed. The stressed samples were previously installed in an underground power [...] Read more.
Fiber-reinforced polymer matrix composites continue to attract scientific and industrial interest since they offer superior strength-, stiffness-, and toughness-to-weight ratios. The research herein characterizes two sets of E-Glass/Epoxy composite skins: stressed and unstressed. The stressed samples were previously installed in an underground power distribution vault and were exposed to fire while the unstressed composite skins were newly fabricated and never-deployed samples. The mechanical, morphological, and elemental composition of the samples were methodically studied using a dynamic mechanical analyzer, a scanning electron microscope (SEM), and an x-ray diffractometer, respectively. Sandwich composite panels consisting of E-glass/Epoxy skin and balsa wood core were originally received, and the balsa wood was removed before any further investigations. Skin-only specimens with dimensions of ~12.5 mm wide, ~70 mm long, and ~6 mm thick were tested in a Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer in a dual-cantilever beam configuration at 5 Hz and 10 Hz from room temperature to 210 °C. Micrographic analysis using the SEM indicated a slight change in morphology due to the fire event but confirmed the effectiveness of the fire-retardant agents in quickly suppressing the fire. Accompanying Fourier transform infrared and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy studies corroborated the mechanical and morphological results. Finally, X-ray diffraction showed that the fire event consumed the surface level fire-retardant and the structural attributes of the E-Glass/Epoxy remained mainly intact. The results suggest the panels can continue field deployment, even after short fire incident. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Modelling of Composites, Volume II)
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Review

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Review
3D X-ray Microscopy as a Tool for in Depth Analysis of the Interfacial Interaction between a Single Carbon Fiber and an Epoxy Matrix after Mechanical Loading
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(5), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5050121 - 04 May 2021
Viewed by 658
Abstract
The benefit of fiber-reinforced composites originates from the interaction between the fiber reinforcement and the matrix. This interplay controls many of its mechanical properties and is of utmost importance to enable its unique performance as a lightweight material. However, measuring the fiber−matrix interphase [...] Read more.
The benefit of fiber-reinforced composites originates from the interaction between the fiber reinforcement and the matrix. This interplay controls many of its mechanical properties and is of utmost importance to enable its unique performance as a lightweight material. However, measuring the fiber−matrix interphase strength with micromechanical tests, like the Broutman test, is challenging, due to the many, often unknown boundary conditions. Therefore, this study uses state-of-the-art, high-resolution X-ray computed microtomography (XRM) as a tool to investigate post mortem the failure mechanisms of single carbon fibers within an epoxy matrix. This was conducted at the example of single carbon fiber Broutman test specimens. The capabilities of today’s XRM analysis were shown in comparison to classically obtained light microscopy. A simple finite element model was used to enhance the understanding of the observed fracture patterns. In total, this research reveals the possibilities and limitations of XRM to visualize and assess compression-induced single fiber fracture patterns. Furthermore, comparing two different matrix systems with each other illustrates that the failure mechanisms originate from differences in the fiber−matrix interphases. The carbon fiber seems to fail due to brittleness under compression stress. Observation of the fiber slippage and deformed small fracture pieces between the fragments suggests a nonzero stress state at the fragment ends after fiber failure. Even more, these results demonstrate the usefulness of XRM as an additional tool for the characterization of the fiber−matrix interphase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Modelling of Composites, Volume II)
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Other

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Concept Paper
Additive Manufacturing for Effective Smart Structures: The Idea of 6D Printing
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(5), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5050119 - 01 May 2021
Viewed by 609
Abstract
This paper aims to establish six-dimensional (6D) printing as a new branch of additive manufacturing investigating its benefits, advantages as well as possible limitations concerning the design and manufacturing of effective smart structures. The concept of 6D printing, to the authors’ best knowledge, [...] Read more.
This paper aims to establish six-dimensional (6D) printing as a new branch of additive manufacturing investigating its benefits, advantages as well as possible limitations concerning the design and manufacturing of effective smart structures. The concept of 6D printing, to the authors’ best knowledge, is introduced for the first time. The new method combines the four-dimensional (4D) and five-dimensional (5D) printing techniques. This means that the printing process is going to use five degrees of freedom for creating the final object while the final produced material component will be a smart/intelligent one (i.e., will be capable of changing its shape or properties due to its interaction with an environmental stimulus). A 6D printed structure can be stronger and more effective than a corresponding 4D printed structure, can be manufactured using less material, can perform movements by being exposed to an external stimulus through an interaction mechanism, and it may learn how to reconfigure itself suitably, based on predictions via mathematical modeling and simulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Modelling of Composites, Volume II)
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