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Technical Paper

A Comparative Study of Two RVE Modelling Methods for Chopped Carbon Fiber SMC

2017-03-28
2017-01-0224
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.
Journal Article

A Comparative Study of Two ASTM Shear Test Standards for Chopped Carbon Fiber SMC

2018-04-03
2018-01-0098
Chopped carbon fiber sheet molding compound (SMC) material is a promising material for mass-production lightweight vehicle components. However, the experimental characterization of SMC material property is a challenging task and needs to be further investigated. There now exist two ASTM standards (ASTM D7078/D7078M and ASTM D5379/D5379M) for characterizing the shear properties of composite materials. However, it is still not clear which standard is more suitable for SMC material characterization. In this work, a comparative study is conducted by performing two independent Digital Image Correlation (DIC) shear tests following the two standards, respectively. The results show that ASTM D5379/D5379M is not appropriate for testing SMC materials. Moreover, the failure mode of these samples indicates that the failure is caused by the additional moment raised by the improper design of the fixture.
Journal Article

Modeling and Simulation of Compression Molding Process for Sheet Molding Compound (SMC) of Chopped Carbon Fiber Composites

2017-03-28
2017-01-0228
Compression molded SMC composed of chopped carbon fiber and resin polymer which balances the mechanical performance and manufacturing cost presents a promising solution for vehicle lightweight strategy. However, the performance of the SMC molded parts highly depends on the compression molding process and local microstructure, which greatly increases the cost for the part level performance testing and elongates the design cycle. ICME (Integrated Computational Material Engineering) approaches are thus necessary tools to reduce the number of experiments required during part design and speed up the deployment of the SMC materials. As the fundamental stage of the ICME workflow, commercial software packages for SMC compression molding exist yet remain not fully validated especially for chopped fiber systems. In the present study, SMC plaques are prepared through compression molding process.
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