An anisotropic elasto-plastic material model for injection-molded long fiber-reinforced thermoplastics accounting for local fiber orientation distributions
This paper presents an anisotropic elasto-plastic material model for injection-molded long fiber-reinforced thermoplastics. It considers local heterogeneities which are attributed to process-induced variations of fiber orientation distributions and fiber volume fractions. These inhomogeneities have an effect on the mechanical properties and need to be considered in structural computations. In the material model, this is realized through a two-step homogenization procedure. First, an anisotropic stiffness tensor is approximated using mean field homogenization. Second, the plastic behavior is described using Hillâs transversely isotropic yield criterion averaged over the three principal directions of the fiber orientation. The advantage in combining these two approaches is a micro-mechanically based, yet fast numerical calculation of the composite material behavior within an explicit finite element code. The anisotropic material model is calibrated by simulating tensile tests on specimens taken in different directions from an injection-molded plate of fiber reinforced thermoplastic. The spatial variation of fiber orientation distribution and fiber volume fraction throughout the plate is determined from numerical mold filling simulations and is compared with computer tomography scans at different positions. A validation of the model is performed through simulating position-dependent tensile tests on smooth and notched specimens as well as a punch test which is well reproduced.