Micro-mechanical predictive modelling as an aid to CAD based analysis of composite sporting equipment
Ewart, P. (2008). Micro-mechanical predictive modelling as an aid to CAD based analysis of composite sporting equipment (Thesis, Master of Science (Technology) (MSc(Tech))). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2509
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2509
The sport and leisure industry in New Zealand (NZ) has the potential to become a major user of composite materials. Given the size of NZ industry, design and manufacturing strategies based on virtual engineering should be developed to suit NZ requirements. Virtual methods use computer aided engineering capabilities to find faults, explore alternatives and optimise product performance before detailed design or prototyping. When doing computer aided simulation the required mechanical properties of individual reinforcement and matrix components are well documented. However, the mechanical properties of composite materials are not as simple to obtain. Micro-mechanical modelling could therefore be used to aid the design and development of composite equipment, where mechanical properties are unknown. In this study, solids modelling was used to produce an analog model of a composite, and it was found that it lead to reductions in file size and simulation time. Representing a composite with an analog model implies that the behavioural characteristics are modelled, but not the physical characteristics of the individual components. Three micro-mechanical models were developed to predict the flexural modulus of composite materials, based on perfect, partial and no adhesion. It was found that the partial adhesion model was both practical and consistently accurate. The partial adhesion model accounted for adhesion between components by considering an 'effective shear value' at the interface. Validation of the models was done by flexural testing injection moulded samples of glass, wood and carbon fibre reinforced polyethylene. It was shown that the adhesion coefficient range was 0.1 for carbon fibre, 0.5 for glass fibre and 0.9 for the wood fibre composites. It was concluded that the adhesion coefficient is crucial and it is recommended that further work is done to validate effective shear values by empirical means. The predicted flexural modulus values were used to enable finite element simulation of modelled analog beams as well as commercial kayak paddles. It was determined that accurate simulation is possible for composite equipment using the partial adhesion model.
The University of Waikato
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