Advanced thermoplastic prepreg composite materials stand out with regard to their ability to allow complex designs with high specific strength and stiffness. This makes them an excellent choice for lightweight automotive components to reduce mass and increase fuel efficiency, while maintaining the functionality of traditional thermosetting prepreg (and mechanical characteristics) and with a production cycle time and recyclability suited to mass production manufacturing. Currently, the aerospace and automotive sectors struggle to carry out accurate Finite Elements (FE) component analyses and in some cases are unable to validate the obtained results. In this study, structural Finite Elements Analysis (FEA) has been done on a thermoplastic fiber reinforced component designed and manufactured through an integrated injection molding process, which consists in thermoforming the prepreg laminate and overmolding the other parts. This process is usually referred to as hybrid molding, and has the provision to reinforce the zones subjected to additional stresses with thermoformed themoplastic prepreg as required and overmolded with a shortfiber thermoplastic resin in single process. This paper aims to establish an accurate predictive model on a rational basis and an innovative methodology for the structural analysis of thermoplastic composite components by comparison with the experimental tests results.
Applied Composite Materials – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 2, 2017
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