Table of Contents
Journal of Composites
Volume 2014, Article ID 172560, 17 pages
Research Article

Multiscale Modeling of Residual Stress Development in Continuous Fiber-Reinforced Unidirectional Thick Thermoset Composites

1General Motors Technical Centre India Pvt. Ltd., Vehicle Performance Centers, Vehicle CAE Methods, International Tech Park Ltd., Whitefield Road, Bangalore 560 066, India
2General Motors Global R&D Laboratories, Chemical and Materials Systems Lab, Energy Storage Materials Group and Materials 30500 Mound Road, Warren, MI 48090, USA

Received 7 October 2013; Accepted 20 January 2014; Published 24 March 2014

Academic Editor: Baozhong Sun

Copyright © 2014 Bhaskar Patham and Xiaosong Huang. 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.


The primary objective of this research is to develop a multiscale simulation framework to arrive at more realistic estimates of cure-induced residual stresses in the vicinity of the fiber-matrix interface in thick thermoset composites. The methodology involves simulations at the part level—employing homogenized rendering of the composite using micromechanics approach—within a finite element framework to obtain part-level temperature and degree-of-cure gradients and strains, and imposition of this information as boundary conditions at the mesoscale simulations, employing microstructural representative volume elements (RVE). A simple implementation of the multiscale framework, involving simulations at the part as well as the RVE levels, is demonstrated in the context of a thick, unidirectional continuous-glass-fiber-reinforced thermoset composite. The trends in the mesoscale residual stresses estimated by employing different RVE-level thermal and thermomechanical boundary conditions—displaying different degrees of coupling between the global and part-level simulations—are then examined. Significant differences are observed in the estimates of mesolevel cure-induced residual stress evolution obtained from simulations with a conventional symmetric RVE and those obtained by employing the multiscale approach involving detailed boundary conditions that realistically account for global thermal and mechanical strain histories.