The elastic properties of random chopped fiber-reinforced composites (RAFCs) are of paramount importance for their sound application in lightweight structures. Mass production of random chopped fiber-reinforced composite (RaFC) at a fraction of the cost of composite laminates establishes RaFCs as alternate candidate materials for manufacturing lightweight components in the automotive industry. Nevertheless, understanding and modeling of their mechanical and fracture properties are still fields of active research, yet to be exhausted. In this paper, methods to generate an RVE for random fiber or particle reinforced composites numerically are reviewed. A modified random sequential absorption algorithm is proposed to generate a representative volume element (RVE) of a random chopped fiber-reinforced composite (RaFC) material. It is assumed that the RVE represents the composite material within the framework of elasticity. The RVE thus created is analyzed to obtain the mechanical properties of the composite material by using finite element analysis (FEA). RVE generation uses both straight and curved fibers so as to achieve high fiber volume fractions (VFs) that are extremely difficult to obtain by using straight fibers alone. This work extends the capability of RVE generation of RaFCs to higher volume fractions, here 35.1% is illustrated, which are in the range of values employed in industrial applications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ceramics and Composites
- A. Short-fiber composites
- B. Elastic properties
- C. Finite element analysis (FEA)
- C. Modeling
- C. Multiscale modeling