Prediction of delamination in glass fibre reinforced composite materials using elasto-plastic modelling

Kakei, Ayad Arab Ghaidan (2019) Prediction of delamination in glass fibre reinforced composite materials using elasto-plastic modelling. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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Glass Fibre reinforced composite (GFRC) has been used for numerous structural applications in Aerospace, Chemical, Automotive and Civil infrastructure fields over a hundred of years. Due to this reason, understanding the intricate fracture behaviour of GFRC materials is crucial and essential for designing critical structural components.

Voids and micro-cracks are considered as imperfections in Glass Fibre Reinforced composites. Much research has been undertaken on approaches to calculate and evaluate the effects of the imperfections on mechanical properties. However, it is an established fact that the micro-mechanical approach alone is not sufficient to understand a complete damage accumulation process during delamination. The damage mechanism which largely affects the performance of GFRC structures is commonly known as 'delamination'. Since the delamination is invisible, and hard to detect with ordinary non-destructive evaluation methods, therefore it is considered as a hidden killer which can cause catastrophic failure without any prior warnings. Due to this reason, research work on delamination modelling, damage detection and self-healing materials have been the highly placed research topics for more than five decades. Unfortunately there are a number of unresolved problems in delamination damage modelling and prediction, and few grey areas regarding application of Structural Health Monitoring systems to monitor delamination damages. This thesis has proposed to study the insight into the cause of delamination damage and its propagation mechanisms, by analytical modelling and experimental verifications.

Within this research project, extension of the work by Tsukrov and Kachanov (2000) – “An innovative Elasto-plastic model” has been undertaken to evaluate, investigate and model the onset and propagation of delamination damages. Mode I, Mode II as well as Mixed Mode I/II delamination damage analysis has been utilised to study the proposed model predictions for GFRC structures for both in-plane and out-of-plane load applications.

The proposed model has been validated using the Double Cantilever Beam (DCB), End Notch Flexure configurations (ENF) and Cracked Lap Shear (CLS) experiments on 0/90-glass woven cloth specimens. For the validation process, the procedures stipulated by ASTM standards were employed. It was observed that there were significant discrepancies between calculated fracture energies using standard procedures and the proposed model. Interestingly these observations have revealed some inconsistencies associated with the standard method for strain measurements that majorly controls the fracture energy calculations. This research project has demonstrated and evidently proven the accuracy of the proposed model predictions using the strain measured with embedded Fibre Bragg Grating (FBG) sensors, located inside the sample in proximity of the crack tip. The extended use of FBG strain measurement has created a breakthrough in Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) of composite structures. Non-availability of a suitable damage prediction model is an issue for accurate damage monitoring process. The proposed model has also demonstrated the potential for its integration with Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) systems. Additionally, Thermoplastic Stress Analysis (TSA) has been employed to monitor delamination. The potential for integration of FBG sensors and TSA techniques has been experimentally demonstrated during this project and, it is another breakthrough in SHM field as a result of this research.

In addition to analytical model, a detailed Finite Element model was also created on ABAQUS commercial software. The cohesive elements with state variables (SDV) and UMAT codes were used for FEA simulations. Interestingly, the FEA results have shown an excellent correlation with the experimental results.

Finally, this thesis has evidently proved the validity of the proposed model and integration of model with SHM system based on FBG sensors and TSA techniques. The outcomes of the thesis have provided a novel and innovative damage prediction model and a breakthrough technology for SHM systems.

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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 -)
Supervisors: Epaarachchi, Jayantha; Islam, Mainul
Date Deposited: 30 May 2019 04:49
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2020 04:32
Uncontrolled Keywords: composite materials, delamination damage, FBG sensors, cohesive element, structural health monitoring, finite element
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0913 Mechanical Engineering > 091399 Mechanical Engineering not elsewhere classified
09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090503 Construction Materials
09 Engineering > 0912 Materials Engineering > 091202 Composite and Hybrid Materials
Identification Number or DOI: doi:10.26192/5f71653799a0a

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