Crashworthiness of Carbon Fiber Composites
The current lack of validated models for predicting the crash behavior of carbon fiber composites is preventing their wide-spread use in mainstream vehicles.
The objective of this research is to systematically evaluate and validate existing models against benchmark tests and perform detailed material characterization before and after the crash tests. The guiding principle is to evaluate the models in as impartial and systematic way as possible, and to develop an accurate assessment of the current technology. In order to evaluate accuracy, sensitivity and optimal configurations of the selected models, a large number of computational simulations is required. Supercomputers from the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) enable such a complete technology assessment for the first time. The framework resulting from this research will establish a procedure and a resource for evaluation of new models.
The modeling work is supported by the material and component tests. Several composite material systems are considered that provide a broad range of mechanical behavior. In addition to the standard properties required as model input, fiber and fiber/resin interface properties will be determined using the latest techniques, and high strain rate behavior is determined using the latest testing and full-field strain measurement equipment. Demonstration components will be tested over a range of dynamic rates in the two dominant crash modes: progressive axial crush and lateral impact. The latest technology in nondestructive inspection will be used to assess post-loading damage for correlation and comparison to the models.