Multi-scale mechanism based life prediction of polymer matrix composites for high temperature airframe applications
A multi-scale mechanism-based life prediction model is developed for high-temperature polymer matrix composites (HTPMC) for high temperature airframe applications. In the first part of this dissertation the effect of Cloisite 20A (C20A) nano-clay compounding on the thermo-oxidative weight loss and the residual stresses due to thermal oxidation for a thermoset polymer bismaleimide (BMI) are investigated. A three-dimensional (3-D) micro-mechanics based finite element analysis (FEA) was conducted to investigate the residual stresses due to thermal oxidation using an in-house FEA code (NOVA-3D). In the second part of this dissertation, a novel numerical-experimental methodology is outlined to determine cohesive stress and damage evolution parameters for pristine as well as isothermally aged (in air) polymer matrix composites. A rate-dependent viscoelastic cohesive layer model was implemented in an in-house FEA code to simulate the delamination initiation and propagation in unidirectional polymer composites before and after aging. Double cantilever beam (DCB) experiments were conducted (at UT-Dallas) on both pristine and isothermally aged IM-7/BMI composite specimens to determine the model parameters. The J-Integral based approach was adapted to extract cohesive stresses near the crack tip. Once the damage parameters had been characterized, the test-bed FEA code employed a micromechanics based viscoelastic cohesive layer model to numerically simulate the DCB experiment. FEA simulation accurately captures the macro-scale behavior (load-displacement history) simultaneously with the micro-scale behavior (crack-growth history).