Characterization of Carbon Fiber-Epoxy Composite Materials
Characterization of a material is very important to determine its behavior and properties in different load conditions. There are different experimental tests that are used to determine these properties, but, making the samples and conducting the test can be very time and labor-consuming. The main aim of this work is to develop a digital finite element method that can be used to predict the behavior and the distribution of various parameters along with the specimen before or without actually conducting the experiments. This is a part of the process of development of a virtual lab that provides a common platform for learning and integrating different concepts required to characterize composites. The material properties that were given as an input for the simulations were predicted by using a micromechanical analysis of the fiber and matrix properties that were obtained from their respective datasheets and were validated with the experimental results. Hence, this method can be used for the analysis of any kind of material that has basic data available on its datasheets. Five main test methods are discussed in this work, namely, off-axis tension, laminate tension, open hole tension and CTE analysis, free-edge effects and mode I fracture (Double Cantilever Beam) test. The results obtained from the simulation were compared to the analytical and experimental results for validation. Only linear elastic analysis was carried out for all the tensile specimen and the prediction of failure properties is a potential extension of this work.