Computer-aided engineering (CAE) of Tepex® components is essential to achieve short development times, cost-effective production processes and component design that is optimized for the load cases. In this process, the design relates specifically to both the production process and the mechanical behavior of the component and the interaction between production and component properties.
The anisotropy – i.e. directional dependency – is the most important property of the semi-finished product in the design process. The morphology of the reinforcing fabric gives rise to a tension-compression asymmetry, a dependency on the position in terms of the through plane (layer structure) and, for the manufacturing process, the drapability. The matrix properties give rise to the temperature and, in some cases, moisture content dependency, as well as – depending on the type of load – time-dependent creep. The layer structure also produces relatively large differences between tensile and flexural properties.
Both the manufacturing process and component behavior can be characterized highly effectively using standard FE methods and calculation programs (solvers), with precision and forecast quality depending on the model-based approach used, the scope of the underlying measuring data and the specific aspects to be calculated.
In order to sufficiently predict the manufacturing process, the resulting fiber orientation and the component properties through to fracture behavior, we have developed tools based on the FE solver ABAQUS that characterize the properties and influences referred to and can thus be used directly in the development process for Tepex® components. These FE tools use material data that are calculated using direction-dependent tensile tests, sometimes with a high expansion rate, and various shear and flexural tests.
Figure 1: Stress distribution and deformation in three-point flexural testing