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3D geometric modelling of discontinuous fibre composites using a force-directed algorithm

Harper, LT; Qian, CC; Luchoo, R; Warrior, NA


Associate Professor - Composites Manufacturing

CC Qian

R Luchoo

NA Warrior


A geometrical modelling scheme is presented to produce representative architectures for discontinuous fibre composites, enabling downstream modelling of mechanical properties. The model generates realistic random fibre architectures containing high filament count bundles (>3k) and high (~50%) fibre volume fractions. Fibre bundles are modelled as thin shells using a multi-dimension modelling strategy, in which fibre bundles are distributed and compacted to simulate pressure being applied from a matched mould tool. FE simulations are performed to benchmark the in-plane mechanical properties obtained from the numerical model against experimental data, with a detailed study presented to evaluate the tensile properties at various fibre volume fractions and specimen thicknesses. Tensile modulus predictions are in close agreement (less than 5% error) with experimental data at volume fractions below 45%. Ultimate tensile strength predictions are within 4.2% of the experimental data at volume fractions between 40%-55%. This is a significant improvement over existing 2D modelling approaches, as the current model offers increased levels of fidelity, capturing dominant failure mechanisms and the influence of out-of-plane fibres.


Harper, L., Qian, C., Luchoo, R., & Warrior, N. (2017). 3D geometric modelling of discontinuous fibre composites using a force-directed algorithm. Journal of Composite Materials, 51(17), 2389-2406.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 14, 2016
Online Publication Date Oct 6, 2016
Publication Date 2017-07
Deposit Date Mar 7, 2017
Publicly Available Date Mar 7, 2017
Journal Journal of Composite Materials
Print ISSN 0021-9983
Electronic ISSN 1530-793X
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 51
Issue 17
Pages 2389-2406
Keywords Discontinuous composite, finite element analysis, force-directed algorithm
Public URL
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