Michigan State University
NASA Glenn Research Center
In this work, the modeling of triaxially braided composites was explored through a semi-analytical discretization. Four unique subcells, each approximated by a "mosaic" stacking of unidirectional composite plies, were modeled through the use of latered-shell elements within the explicit finite element code LS-DYNA. Two subcell discretizations were investigated: a model explicitly capturing pure matrix regions, and a novel model which absorbed pure matrix pockets into neighboring tow plies. The in-plane stiffness properties of both models, computed using bottom-up micromechanics, correlated well to experimental data. The absorbed matrix model, however, was found to best capture out-of-plane flexural properties by comparing numerical simulations of the out-of-plane displacements from single-ply tension tests to experimental full field data. This strong correlation of out-of-plane characteristics supports the current modeling approach as a viable candidate for future work involving impact solutions.