Carbon fibre textile composite for automotive applications

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Aerospace Engineering


A JLR body structure must perform a significant number of functions including all of those
required for crash, NVH & durability attributes. JLR aspiration is that all of these attributes
are assessed using virtual methods e.g. finite element models. The accuracy of these models
depends on 2 main inputs 1. Geometry (a true representation of the design) & 2. Material
models (how the design responds when loaded) - get either wrong & significant risk (timing,
cost etc.) is added into a programme.
Carbon Fibre Composites are a highly anisotropic material where effectively a new material
property is created every time a fibre angle, fibre size or fibre/resin ratio is changed, even
within the same nominal material grade. In order to optimise the usage of these textile
materials, their material properties must be understood.
Rather than adopting a traditional test & measure approach to materials characterisation
(which typically costs thousands of pounds per material, takes weeks to complete, and needs
to be repeated if there is any change to any of the vast number of variables in the format of
the composite material), we propose developing innovative virtual models of the material at
the micro-scale and then using these models to extract the macro-scale material properties
required for vehicle attribute model inputs.


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publication icon
Song M (2018) Mechanical modelling of a sheared textile composite unit cell in IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/P510427/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1834948 Studentship EP/P510427/1 01/07/2016 30/06/2020 Meng Yi Song
Description The tows in a 2D woven carbon fibre material rotates away from its orthogonal position as a 2D fabric conforms to a 3D shape. The effect of localised shear in the final composite part is commonly ignored in macro-scale mechanical simulations. My current research allows sheared unit cell properties to be implemented in macro-scale FE simulation to improve accuracy.
Exploitation Route My outcome can be used to improve accuracy in macro-scale FE model. Therefore, any applications where the user need to perform a macro-scale mechanical FE model of a balanced 2D woven material (not restricted to carbon fibre) , may use my work to improve their accuracy. The amount of improvement should be dependent on the complexity of the part, as more complex geometries will create more regions of local shears. This is currently in process so the actual amount of improvement need to be researched.

This can also used as a base work to add more types of fabric weaves such as UD, NCF, unbalanced 2D or 3D woven materials.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Construction,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Transport