Construction and implementation of multiphase voxel finite elements for use in stiffness tensor prediction of woven fiber composite laminae.

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As woven fabric composites become a more popular choice of material, it becomes important to understand how various weave, fibers, and resin systems will react under loading. This can be done by performing a finite element analysis (FEA) of the representative volume element (RVE) to calculate the effective stiffness tensor; however, the complex geometry of the RVE makes meshing tedious. This thesis develops two novel multiphase voxel elements (MVEs) that can account for multiple materials within their domain by applying material properties and appropriate strain corrections at the Gauss integration points. Studies performed on simple geometries show exceptional agreement with traditional FEA results, being more accurate than previous MVEs presented in literature. These new MVEs are also used to analyze various woven composite laminae and they also show good agreement with the experimental results presented in literature and studies from traditional finite elements.

finite elements, laminated woven composites, stiffness prediction