Chopped Tape Thermoplastic Composites (CTTCs) offer high formability and performance for complex-shaped components in the aerospace and automotive industries. However, the mesoscopic discontinuity leads to spatial variabilities and correspondingly high scatter in the elastic properties of CTTCs due to the random orientations of chopped tapes and chopped tape-cavity edge interactions. Here we propose a new approach to investigate the effect of mould cavity edges on chopped tape orientation and hence the mechanical properties of CTTCs. Based on this approach, a Set Voronoi tessellation was implemented to represent the variability of local Young's Modulus and chopped tape-cavity edge interactions occurring during the manufacturing process. It was confirmed that the chopped tapes align along the edges, and progressively transition to a random orientation towards the middle of the specimen. The results were validated on moulded specimens and demonstrated the ability to deconvolute the edge interaction.
FundingWe would like to thank Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Germany for their financial support and the Innosuisse Swiss Innovation Agency under grant number CTI 16547.1 for their financial support. We thank Christian Brauner (FHNW) for his support and Benjamin Bachman (FHNW), Nicolas Eguemann and Lian Giger (Cross Composite) for the mould design and the manufacturing of specimens and Dr. Sergio Turteltaub (TU Delft) for his valuable comments that improved the manuscript.
- Chopped Tape Composites
- Net-shaped specimens
- Orientation tensor
- Stiffness model