Probabilistic Finite Element Analysis of Modified ASTM D3039 Tension Test for Marine Grade Polymer Matrix Composites (3)
Publication Name: Journal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites
Publication URL: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/07316844070799152008
The variability of tensile mechanical properties of a polymer matrix composite material with woven fabric reinforcement is studied using both experimental work and numerical simulations. Four E-glass/vinyl ester composite plates were fabricated using the vacuum-assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM) by a US Navy contractor. The materials and process selected are representative of Marine grade composites typically used by the US Navy. Standard and modified D3039 tensile coupons were obtained from the plates and the laboratory results were compared with those of a 3D probabilistic finite element analysis (FEA). In the probabilistic FEA model, elastic properties, strength parameters, and geometric properties of the woven fabric E-glass/vinyl ester coupons were considered as random fields, and generated using Monte Carlo simulations. The study evaluates the effects of spatial correlation, finite element size, probability distribution functions (PDF) types, and failure criteria on statistical strength properties of the [(0w/90f)/(0f/90 w)]2s tension coupons. Comparisons of experimental and probabilistic FEA results provide useful information on how to assign mean, COV, and PDF of material properties to individual finite elements within a mesh. The results are relevant in developing design properties for these composites.