Prediction of Bulk Properties in Low Density
3-D Fiber Composites Using a Network Model

The objective of this research is the use of micro mechanics for the study of the mechanical properties of fiber-based composites. The research is a first step toward the development of a computer simulation of three-dimensional mechanical behavior of such materials based on modeling individual fibers and their binders. The mechanical behavior of glass fibers, randomly oriented, and connected by a binding material at random locations is modeled by assuming the fibers are long slender, elastic, rods. As such, they undergo large deformations but experience only small strains. The torsional stiffness of the fibers are also be taken into account. It is assumed that fibers can come into contact with one another, as well as loose contact during the deformation history. The model will then be used to determine deformation characteristics, including failure modes and/or yield surfaces of the composite.

Principal Investigators: Paul Heyliger, Erik Thompson

Sponsor: Colorado Advanced Materials Institute
Industry Contact: Dr. Diana Fisler, Johns-Manville