Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 709495, 18 pages
Research Article

Numerical Tools for Composite Woven Fabric Preforming

GAMMA3-INRIA Project Team, Charles Delaunay Institute, University of Technology of Troyes, 12 Rue Marie-Curie, BP 2060, 10010 Troyes, France

Received 13 September 2012; Accepted 12 November 2012

Academic Editor: Philip Harrison

Copyright © 2013 Abel Cherouat and Houman Bourouchaki. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An important step in the manufacturing processes of thin composite components is the layingup of the reinforcement onto the mould surface. The prediction of the angular distortion of the reinforcement during draping and the changes in fibre orientation are essential for the understanding of the manufacture process and the evaluation of the mechanical properties of the composite structures. This paper presents an optimization-based method for the simulation of the forming processes of woven fabric reinforced composites. Two different approaches are proposed for the simulation of the draping of woven fabric onto complex geometries: geometrical and mechanical approaches. The geometrical approach is based on a fishnet model. It is well adapted to predimensioning fabrics and to give a suitable quantification of the resulting flat patterns. The mechanical approach is based on a mesostructural model. It allows us to take into account the mechanical properties of fibres and resin and the various dominating mode of deformation of woven fabrics during the forming process. Some numerical simulations of the forming process are proposed and compared with the experimental results in order to demonstrate the efficiency of our approaches.