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Thermo-Mechanical Damage Modeling of Polymer Matrix Composite Structures in Fire

Luo, C. and Lua J., 2011. Thermo-Mechanical Damage Modeling of Polymer Matrix Composite Structures in Fire. Fire Safety Science 10: 1179-1192. 10.3801/IAFSS.FSS.10-1179


The overall objective of this research is to develop a modeling and simulation approach for predicting the thermo-mechanical damage of composite materials subjected to fire environments. A three dimensional thermal damage model is developed for glass-reinforced polymer composite materials subject to high temperature and radiative environments. Homogenization methods are used to formulate the damaged material in terms of the volume fractions associated with composite fiber, resin, and char. The thermal damage model is implemented in Abaqus via an overlaid element approach and extended to a thermo-mechanical damage model. The solution of the mechanical response is based on the existing functions in Abaqus in order to model the nonlinear geometry using large-displacement analysis. The thermal response of laminated composite materials is studied first. Consistent agreement is obtained between the numerical predictions and experimental data for temperature. The extended thermo-mechanical damage model is then applied to the sandwich structure of composite laminates subject to radiative heating and compressive loading. The predictions of temperature field match very well with experimental data. Delamination failure is predicted at the sandwich interface. Reasonable agreement is achieved in predicting the time-to-failure of the structure.

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