Analysis of 2x2 braided composites



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Texas A&M University


Textile composites can be tailored to meet specific thermo-mechanical requirements for structural applications. The focus of this research is on 2x2 biaxial braided composites since they have good stiffness and strength properties. Moreover, they have potentially better impact and fatigue resistance than laminated composites. Along with good properties, they have a reduced manufacturing cost because much of the fabrication can be automated. In order to exploit these benefits, thorough understanding of the effect of various factors on their material behavior is necessary. Obtaining effective mechanical properties is the first order of concern in any structural analysis. This work presents an investigation of the effect of various parameters like braid angle, waviness ratio, stacking sequence and material properties on the effective engineering properties of the 2x2 braids. To achieve this goal, three dimensional finite element micromechanics models were developed first. Extensive parametric studies were conducted for two material systems: 1). Glass (S2) fiber / epoxy (SC-15) matrix and 2). Carbon (AS4) fiber / Vinyl Ester (411-350) matrix. Equivalent laminated materials with angle plies and a resin layer were also analyzed to compare the difference in predictions from the full three dimensional finite element analysis of the 2x2 braided composites. A full three-dimensional stress state exists in braids even for very simple loading. In order to locate the potential damage spots, the stress distributions in both the matrix and the tows were predicted. The effect of braid angle on location and magnitude of peak stresses was determined.