A Comparative Study of Two RVE Modelling Methods for Chopped Carbon Fiber SMC
To advance vehicle lightweighting, chopped carbon fiber sheet molding compound (SMC) is identified as a promising material to replace metals. However, there are no effective tools and methods to predict the mechanical property of the chopped carbon fiber SMC due to the high complexity in microstructure features and the anisotropic properties. In this paper, a Representative Volume Element (RVE) approach is used to model the SMC microstructure. Two modeling methods, the Voronoi diagram-based method and the chip packing method, are developed to populate the RVE. The elastic moduli of the RVE are calculated and the two methods are compared with experimental tensile test conduct using Digital Image Correlation (DIC). Furthermore, the advantages and shortcomings of these two methods are discussed in terms of the required input information and the convenience of use in the integrated processing-microstructure-property analysis.