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# Composites Science and Technology 59 (1999) 19011911

## Three-dimensional properties of woven-fabric composites

V.R. Aitharaju, R.C. Averill*
3516 Engineering Building, Department of Materials Science and Mechanics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1226, USA
Received 8 December 1997; received in revised form 9 February 1999; accepted 23 February 1999

Abstract
A new analytical/numerical model which is simple in terms of modeling and ecient in computational eort is presented for the
estimation of the eective stiness properties of woven-fabric composites. In the present study, the analysis is carried out over the
unit cell of the woven-fabric composite. The unit cell is mainly divided into three regions A, B and C depending on the tow waviness. The ber tow geometry in these regions is easy to visualize and dene through simple functions. Also, by assembling the
regions A, B and C suitably, one can generate the unit cell of any woven-fabric architecture. The tow waviness in these sub-regions
is assumed to be sinusoidal and the waviness in both directions is considered. The unit cell of the woven-fabric composite is discretized with three-dimensional nite elements. From the assumed tow geometry in the regions A, B and C, the tow-volume fraction
and average tow inclinations in an element can be calculated. By using the tow-volume fractions and constitutive properties of each
layer, the average stiness properties of an element are calculated by eective-modulus theory. These average stiness properties are
given as input for computing the elemental stiness matrix in the nite element formulation. The problem of estimating the Young's
modulus and Poisson's ratios in all the three directions is divided into three sub-problems and the superposition method is used.
From the results, it is observed that the stiness and Poisson's ratios obtained by the present model agree very well with the
available three-dimensional nite element results in the literature. The results demonstrate that the present model, which is both
simple and computationally ecient, can give very accurate results compared to a complex three-dimensional nite-element model.
Keywords: A. Textile composite; Woven fabric composite; Plain weave; Eective modulus; Finite element method

1. Introduction
Fiber-reinforced composites have excellent mechanical properties such as high specic strength and high
specic stiness. In particular, laminated composite
plates have been used extensively where the in-plane
properties are important. However, laminated composites have relatively poor mechanical properties in the
thickness direction and are prone to interlaminar delamination. In an attempt to overcome this diculty,
woven-fabric composites have been developed to provide
tridirectional reinforcement in a single layer. The composite laminates thus formed have good properties in
mutually orthogonal directions as well as more balanced
properties and better impact resistance than the unidirectional laminates. The ability of these woven-fabricreinforced composites to drape and conform to irregular
shapes makes them especially appealing.
* Corresonding author. Tel.: +1-517-353-7188; fax: +1-517-3539842.

The stiness and the strength behavior of wovenfabric composites depend on the fabric architecture. A
number of parameters are involved in determining fabric architecture, such as type of weave, density of yarns,
characteristics of bers and matrix, factors introduced
during weaving such as crimp angle, etc. Many weave
architectures are possible, and some understanding of
the behavior of composites as a function of weave
architecture is helpful in selecting an ecient weave for
a specic application. Hence analytical models are
necessary to study the eect of various parameters on the
behavior of woven composites and to select an ecient
fabric architecture.
The eective properties of woven-composite
materials can be determined by analysing a unit
cell. This type of model is popular because of its
ability to capture the eects of complicated ber architectures in the unit cell. These models are based on an
assumption that a composite structural element can be
formed by assembling the unit cells in all the three
directions. Hence, these unit cell models are valid for
thick composites.

PII: S0266 -3 538(99)00049 -4

1902

V.R. Aitharaju, R.C. Averill / Composites Science and Technology 59 (1999) 19011911

## Ishikawa and Chou [14] have proposed three types

of models for the analysis of woven-fabric composites.
These are the mosaic model, ber-undulation model
(crimp model) and the bridging model. These models
are called classical models since the basic assumption
involved is that classical lamination theory is valid for
every innitesimal piece of repeating unit cell of the
woven-fabric region.
In the mosaic model [1], a fabric composite is idealized
as an assemblage of pieces of asymmetrical cross-ply
laminates. The two-dimensional extent of the laminate
is simplied by considering two one-dimensional
models, i.e. a parallel model and a series model. In the
parallel model, a constant strain state (iso-strain) is
assumed in the laminate and elastic stiness matrices
are derived which give upper bounds on in-plane stiness. In the series model or iso-stress model, the
assumption of constant stress is made and elastic stiness matrices are derived. The assumption of constant
stress leads to lower bounds for in-plane stiness of the
fabric. In the above studies the undulation of the ber is
not considered.
In the ber-undulation model [24], the undulation of
the fabric is considered in deriving the stiness matrices.
It is an extension of the series model considered above
[1]. The undulation of the bers in the warp direction is
not taken into account. This model is suitable for
weaves with lower order repeats in the unit cell. The inplane stiness constants obtained using this model are
lower than those obtained by the mosaic model (parallel
model).
The bridging model [4] is an extension of the ber
undulation model applied to general satin-weave composites wherein there are straight thread regions surrounding an interlaced region and interlaced regions are
thus separated from one another. This model is a combination of series and parallel models. It is found that the
results obtained using the above model agree well with
the experimental results for satin-weave composites.
Raju and Wang [5], using classical thin laminate theory (CTLT), obtained stiness coecients and thermal
expansion coecients for plain weave, 5- and 8-harness
satin weave composites. The tow geometry was assumed
to be sinusoidal. They derived closed form expressions
for CTLT stiness matrices from which they evaluated
elastic moduli, Poisson's ratio and coecients of thermal
expansion.
The analytical models mentioned above are all based
on classical laminate theory, hence no predictions can
be made for transverse moduli, E 33 , G 13 and Poisson's
ratios 13 and 23 .
Naik [6] developed a micromechanics model based on
the iso-strain assumption that discretely models the
yarn architecture in the unit cell of a textile composite to
predict the overall mechanical properties. The analytical
technique was implemented in a code called TEXCAD.

## The calculated overall stinesses compared well with

available 3-D nite element results and test data for
woven and braided composites.
Whitcomb [7] used a three-dimensional nite-element
model to analyze plain-weave composites. He found
that the in-plane moduli decreased linearly with
increasing tow waviness. Also, waviness was found to
cause large normal and shear strain concentrations in
the composites when subjected to uniaxial load. He
found some inconsistencies between the nite-element
and experimental results for Poisson's ratios. It is mentioned in Ref. [7] that to reduce the number of elements
in the model, compatibility in the center portion where
matrix resin is present is not maintained. The accurate
three-dimensional nite-element modeling of woven
composites requires enormous modeling eort and it
leads to a large number of elements when tow and resin
constituents are discretely modeled.
Foye [8] used a fabric-analysis method to predict the
stiness properties of a variety of simple and complex
weaves. In this analysis, the unit cell of a woven composite is divided into smaller rectangular subcells in
which the reinforcing congurations are easier to visualize, dene and analyze. Each subcell is modeled as an
inhomogeneous hexahedral nite element. The eective
properties are discontinuous in the subcell and numerical integration is used to evaluate the stiness matrices.
After assembling the subcells, the boundary conditions
on all the faces of the unit cell are prescribed in terms of
displacements corresponding to six independent unit
strain cases of 3-D elasticity. The stiness results thus
obtained are found to be in close agreement with the
experimental results.
Dasgupta et al. [9] analyzed plain-weave composites
for stiness and thermal properties using the homogenization technique. A two-scale asymptotic expansion
was used to relate the microscale behavior with macroscale behavior of the composite. The microscale boundary-value problem, dened over a periodic unit cell of
the composite, was solved using the nite-element
method.
In the present paper, a new analytical/numerical
model is developed to analyze woven-fabric composites.
The aim of the present study is to obtain reasonably
accurate results with minimum modeling and computational eort. The unit cell of the woven-fabric composite is considered to evaluate the eective stiness
properties. A unit cell of the woven composite is discretized with eight node brick elements with one element
through the thickness of the cell. Based on assumed tow
geometry, the tow-volume fraction and average tow
inclination in an element can be determined as a function of its spatial location. The average stiness properties of each element in the unit cell are determined
from the ber-volume fraction and constitutive properties of layers in the element using eective moduli theory

V.R. Aitharaju, R.C. Averill / Composites Science and Technology 59 (1999) 19011911

## [10]. These eective stiness properties are given as

input to the nite-element model. A superposition
method is used to determine the overall eective properties of the woven composites. A brief description of
assumed ber geometry and eective moduli theory is
given below.
2. Fabric geometryconguration in unit cells
All woven fabrics consist of two sets of interlaced
fabric can be identied by the pattern of repeat of
interlaced regions. Two basic geometric parameters are
required to characterize a fabric. nfg denotes that a warp
denotes that a ll thread is interlaced with every nwg th
warp thread. For non-hybrid fabrics, the geometric
parameters nfg and nwg are equal (ng nfg nwg ).
Fabrics with ng 54 are called satin weaves. Fig. 1 shows
ber architectures of plain weave (ng 2), 5-harness
satin weave (ng 5) and 8-harness satin weave (ng 8).
The unit cells of the woven composites are shown in
dark boxes.
The unit cell of a woven-fabric composite can be
broadly divided into regions characterized by no waviness
(cross-ply region; denoted region A), waviness in one
direction (either warp or ll has undulation; denoted
region B) and waviness in two directions (both warp and
ll threads undulate; denoted region C). Obviously there
are sub-categories within each of these three primary
categories that distinguish whether the warp or ll tows
are on top or are undulating, etc. For brevity, only representative cases are described in detail here (see Fig. 2).

1903

## In the present study, the tow undulation is assumed to

be sinusoidal and undulation in two directions is considered. Fig. 1, which is a plan form of the woven composite, does not show the details of tow cross-sections
and undulations. The division of a unit cell of plain
weave and 5-harness satin weave with regions A, B and C
is shown in Fig. 2. By assembling the regions A, B and C
suitably, keeping the sub-classications in mind, one can
generate unit cells of any woven-fabric composite.
The geometry of the tows in the regions A, B and C is
shown in Fig. 3. The origin of the coordinate system is
xed at the lower left corner of the cell and the x3 axis is
assumed to lie along the thickness direction of the composite. The thickness of the woven composite, t, is
assumed to be 2h. It is necessary to mention that only
one of the possible tow geometries in regions A, B and

## Fig. 1. Various ber architectures of woven-fabric composites.

Fig. 2. Divisions of unit cells of plain weave and 5-harness satin weave.

1904

V.R. Aitharaju, R.C. Averill / Composites Science and Technology 59 (1999) 19011911

## C is shown in Fig. 3. The other ber geometries

belonging to each group can be easily visualized by
rotating the ber geometries about the x3 axis.
2.1. Region A (cell dimensions a0 =2  a0 =2  2h)
The geometric parameters, h1 x1 ; x2 , h2 x1 ; x2 and
h3 x1 ; x2 of warp and ll threads are given below (see
Fig. 3).
a0
a0
and 0 < x1 <
for 0 < x2 <
2
2
h1 x1 ; x2 2h

h2 x1 ; x2 h

tf x1 ; x2 h
2.2. Region B (cell dimensions au  a0 =2  2h)
In this region, the geometric parameters h1 x1 ; x2 ,
h2 x1 ; x2 , h3 x1 ; x2 and h4 x1 ; x2 of warp and ll
a0
2




x1 h
h2 x1 ; x2 3 cos
au
2

0 < x1 < au

au
2
3

h3 x1 ; x2 h2 x1 ; x2 h 0 < x1 < au



x1 h
h4 x1 ; x2 1 cos
au
2

au
< x < au
2

As geometric parameters depend only on the x1 coordinate, the thickness of warp and ll bers can be written
as,

tw x1 h

## Based on the above geometric parameters, the thickness

of warp and ll bers can be calculated as

0 < x1 <

## for 0 < x2 <

h3 x1 ; x2 0

tw x1 ; x2 h




x1 h
h1 x1 ; x2 3 cos
2
au

a0
2

0 < x1 < au

au
2
The local angle between the warp tow and the x1 -axis of
the global coordinate system is given by


1 dh2 x1 ; x2
w x1 tan
dx1
 


x1 h
5
tan1 sin
au 2au
a0
0 < x1 < au and 0 < x2 <
2

tf x1 h1 x1 ; x2 h2 x1 ; x2

0 < x1 <

## In this region, the ll ber is assumed to be oriented

along the x2 axis.

V.R. Aitharaju, R.C. Averill / Composites Science and Technology 59 (1999) 19011911

1905

## If we divide the region B into small rectangular solids

with m elements in the x1 direction and n elements in the
x2 direction and one division through the thickness, the
geometric parameters of warp and ll threads in an element P in the domain 0 < x1 < au =2 and 0 < x2 < a0 =2
can be written as (see Fig. 4):

## x2 direction and one division through the thickness, the

thickness of warp and ll bers in an element P in the
region 0 < x1 < au =2 and 0 < x2 < au =2 can be written
as (see Fig. 5):

## tPw h on all edges

tPw tf xn1
2 on edge 3 and edge 4

tPf tf xm
1 on edge 1 and edge 4

and
tPf tf xm
1

## on edge 2 and edge 3

tPf tf xm1
1
Assuming the element P is suciently small, the average
thickness of warp, ll bers and the resin is taken to be
tPw h
1
m1

tPf tf xm
1 tf x1
2

## tPr 2h tPw tPf

The average warp ber orientation in the element can
then be written as,
1
m1

wP w xm
1 w x1
2

## on edge 2 and edge 3

tPf tf xm1
1
Assuming once again that the element P is suciently
small, the average thickness of warp, ll bers and
thickness of resin in the element P is given by:
1
tPw tf xn2 tf xn1
2
2

10

1
m1

tPf tf xm
1 tf x1
2
tPr 2h tPw tPf
The average ber orientations of warp and ll bers in
the element P can be written as:

1
m1

wP w xm
1 w x1
2

## If we divide the region C into small rectangular solids

with m elements in the x1 direction and n elements in the

1
fP w xn2 w xn1
2
2

## Fig. 4. Fiber geometry in an element in region B.

11

1906

V.R. Aitharaju, R.C. Averill / Composites Science and Technology 59 (1999) 19011911

## 3. Eective moduli theory

The basic assumption of the eective moduli theory
proposed by Chou et al. [10] is a combination of Voigt's
(constant strain) and Reuss's (constant stress) hypothesis. In particular, it is assumed that: (1) the normal
strains parallel to the layers and shear strains in the
plane of layers are uniform and equal for all the layers,
and the corresponding stresses are average values; (2)
the normal stress perpendicular to layers and the shear
stresses in the planes perpendicular to the layers are
uniform and equal in each material, and the corresponding strains are average values. With these
assumptions both the equilibrium at the interfaces and
compatibility of the material are satised.
Fig. 6 shows an element in a multilayer laminate with
N layers. The layer number in the element is denoted
with index k. The plane of the layering is assumed to be
the x1 x2 plane and the laminate is stacked in the x3
direction. According to the eective moduli theory, the
assumptions regarding strain and stress quantities are
given below. The overbar quantities represent the average
quantities in the laminate thickness.

## "11 "k11 ; "22 "k22 ; "12 "k12

where ijk and "kij are the stress and strain components in
the layer k.  ij and "ij are the average stress and strain in
the laminate. Vk is the volume fraction of the layer k. In
the above equation, indicial notation is used, wherein
summation on repeated indices is implied (14k4N).
Hooke's law applied to each layer can be written as

k
k
k
; 23 23
;  33 33
 13 13

 k C k "k
~ ~
~

and
k
k
k
;  22 Vk 22
;  12 Vk 12
 11 Vk 11

12

13

## The stress and strain components in a layer can be

written as,
 k k k k k k T
; 22 ; 33 ; 23 :13 ; 12
 k 11
~
and

14

V.R. Aitharaju, R.C. Averill / Composites Science and Technology 59 (1999) 19011911

~

15

## The relations between average stresses and average

strains using average constituent material constants can
be written as:
 C "
~
~ ~

16

## Eqs. (12), (13) and (16) represent 12N 12 equations in

12N 12 variables.
The average constitutive constants, C ij can be
obtained as [10].
C ij

N
X
k1

"
C ij

Vk Ckij

N
X

N
X

"

k1
N
X
k1

17

Ckij =k

=

i; j 4; 5

18

U1 a1 ; x2 ; x3 U

V Ck44 =


k

#"


V Ck45 =k

#2

N
X
k1


Vk Ck55 =k

U2 x1 ; a2 ; x3 V

22

Sub-problem 3:
19

Ck44 Ck55

21

Sub-problem 2:
U1 a1 ; x2 ; x3 0

U2 x1 ; a2 ; x3 0

U3 x1 ; x2 ; a3 0

U1 a1 ; x2 ; x3 0 U2 x1 ; a2 ; x3 0
U3 x1 ; x2 ; a3 W

23

with

and
k

## properties are given as input to evaluate the stiness

matrix of the elements for the nite-element formulation.
The dimensions of the unit cell are assumed to be
2a1  2a2  2a3 , respectively. The origin of the coordinate
system is xed at the center of the unit cell.
For woven-fabric composites, when the material
properties along two in-plane directions are the same,
only six of the nine elastic constants (E 11 , E 33 , G 12 , 12 ,
G 13 , 13 ) have to be computed.
To determine the moduli and Poisson's ratios, three
sub-problems with the following boundary conditions
are considered.
Sub-problem 1:
U3 x1 ; x2 ; a3 0

#
k

k1

where
"

i; j 1; 2; 3; 6

1907

Ck45 Ck54

20

## If the bers in the medium are inclined, the constitutive

properties in the ber directions are transformed to the
global coordinate system x1 ; x2 ; x3 , depending on the
ber orientation.
4. Finite element analysis for eective stiness properties
The unit cell of the woven-fabric composite is rst
identied and it is divided into regions A, B and C. If
there is symmetry in the unit cell, it is exploited in the
analysis. The regions A, B and C are discretized with three
dimensional brick nite elements. Based on assumed geometry in the regions A, B and C, the average thickness and
orientations of warp and ll bers are determined in the
elements depending on their spatial location. From the
average thickness of warp and ll bers, the average
thickness of resin in an element can be found. Knowing
the average ber orientations, the material properties of
the warp and ll bers in the elements are transformed
into global x1 x2 x3 coordinates. Using the volume fractions of layers and the constitutive matrix in the global
directions, the eective properties of the elements are
determined from Eqs. (17) and (18). These elemental

U1 a1 ; x2 ; x3 0

U2 x1 ; a2 ; x3 0

U3 x1 ; x2 ; a3 0

24

## for all sub-problems.

U1 , U2 and U3 are the displacements in x1 , x2 and x3
directions, respectively. For the three sub-problems, the
sum of the normal reaction forces on boundary surfaces, x1 a1 , x2 a2 and x3 a3 are calculated
and denoted as F1n , F2n , F3n for each case. The subscript n represents here the sub-problem number.
The eective modulus in the x1 direction is determined as follows. From the nine constraint forces, the
coecients , and the resultant load P1 are calculated
from the following equations:
F11 F12 F13 P1

25

## F21 F22 F23 0

F31 F32 F33 0
The average normal strains and the average Poisson's
ratios can be determined as:
"11

U
2a1

"22

V
2a2

"33

W
2a3

26

1908

12

V.R. Aitharaju, R.C. Averill / Composites Science and Technology 59 (1999) 19011911

"22
"11

13

"33
"11

## The eective Young's modulus in the x1 direction (E 11 )

is calculated from the following energy balance equation:
1
1
P1 U E 11 "11 2 2a1 2a2 2a3
2
2

27

where 2a1 2a2 2a3 represents the volume of the unit cell.
The remaining Poisson's ratios and Young's moduli in
other directions can be calculated in a similar manner.
To estimate G12 , G23 and G13 , the following boundary
conditions are used.
For G12 :
U1 Kx2

U2 Kx1 on x1 a1 ; a1 and x2 a2 ; a2
28

U3 0 on x3 a3 ; a3
For G23 :
U2 Kx3

U3 Kx2 on x2 a2 ; a2 and x3 a3 ; a3
29

U1 0 on x1 a1 ; a1
For G13 :
U1 Kx3

U3 Kx1 on x1 a1 ; a1 and x3 a3 ; a3
30

U2 0 on x2 a2 ; a2
where K is a scalar that can be chosen arbitrarily.
The reaction forces for the above boundary-value
problems are summed on the boundaries and average
stresses are calculated. The shear modulus is determined
from the calculated average stress and the strain
applied.

## three-dimensional nite element model is large and

requires the use of sophisticated state-of-the-art 3-D
modeling packages. When the ber and resin regions are
discretely modeled, the number of elements in the model
becomes large [9]. Above all, the eort in preparing the
input data for material properties of the elements can
become overwhelming, as the elemental local coordinate
systems vary from one element to the other due to tow
undulation. The present model has the ability to capture
the eects of dierent layers in a single element through
the thickness, so one needs to discretize the unit cell
region in the x1 ; x2 plane only. Thus only a small number of elements is required to represent the unit cell.
Also, based on the assumed geometry in the regions of
the unit cell, one can calculate analytically the volume
fractions and average tow inclinations of each layer in
the element as a function of spacial location. From the
volume fraction and constitutive properties of each
layer, the average stiness properties can be calculated
and given as input in computing the elemental stiness
matrix. The sub-problems for estimating the stiness
properties only dier by load terms, so the nite element
method can be eectively used to solve the sub-problems eciently. The complete procedure can be automated, and the computational eort involved is much
less than that of a full three dimensional model [7,9].
In the present work, plain weave composites with
waviness ratios of 0.167, 0.25 and 0.5 are considered.
The waviness ratio, l, of a plain weave is dened as
au
a0 au

31

## 5. Results and discussion

In the present paper, eective properties of plainweave composites will be predicted and the results from
the present model will be compared with three dimensional nite-element results of Whitcomb [7] and classical laminate theory (CLT) results of Raju and Wang [5].
Whitcomb analyzed symmetrically stacked plain-weave
composites using 3-D nite elements. The unit cell used
for analysis is shown in Fig. 7, where resin regions have
been removed to increase clarity of the tow structure.
It should be noted that the eort needed to accurately
model this simple woven architecture using a traditional

## where au is the ber-undulation length and a0 is the

length of straight portion. The width of the plain weave
is dened as a a0 au .
5.1. Tow-volume fraction
The portion of the plain weave used for analysis is
divided into regions A, B and C. As the tow geometries
in these regions are dened, the volume of tows can be
calculated. In Fig. 8, a plot of tow-volume fraction versus waviness ratio, l, is given. It can be seen from the

V.R. Aitharaju, R.C. Averill / Composites Science and Technology 59 (1999) 19011911

## gure that a composite with a waviness ratio of 0.3 has

a tow-volume fraction of 0.88. Also from the gure, it
can be seen that tow-volume fraction decreases linearly
with waviness ratio.
5.2. Eective moduli and poisson's ratio estimation
eect of waviness ratio
Fig. 9 shows the discretization of the quarter model of a
unit cell with 8-node brick elements with various levels of
mesh renement. One element through the thickness is
used. Three types of nite element meshes are used. The
coarse and medium mesh contain 64 elements (162 nodes)
and 100 elements (242 nodes), respectively. The ne mesh
contains 196 elements (450 nodes) in the model. The nite
element mesh used by Whitcomb [7] has 96 20-node brick
elements (595 nodes) in the model.
While estimating the shear modulus, antisymmetric
boundary conditions must be used on the symmetry edges.
These antisymmetric boundary conditions can be imposed
through multipoint constraints. But in the present study,

1909

## to reduce the computational eort involved in multipoint

constraints, approximate boundary conditions given in
Eqs. (2830) are used on the quarter model.
The material properties used for tow and resin
regions are given in Table 1. Table 2 compares the
eective stiness properties obtained by the present
model with Whitcomb's results as a function of waviness ratio for various mesh renements. The moduli and
Poisson's ratio of the plain weave are normalized with
respect to the equivalent properties of a (0/90/90/0)
laminate with the same dimensions. The classical laminate theory results given by Raju and Wang [5] are also
given for comparison.

## Fig. 9. Various nite-element meshes used for analysis of unit cell.

Table 1
Material properties of tow and resin [7]

## Fig. 8. Variation of tow-volume fraction in the plain-weave composite

with waviness ratio.

23

13

G12
G23
G13
(GPa) (GPa) (GPa)

Material

GPa GPa GPa

Tow
Resin

## 134 10.2 10.2 0.30 0.49 0.30 5.52

3.45 3.45 3.45 0.35 0.35 0.35 1.28

3.43
1.28

5.52
1.28

Table 2
Eect of waviness ratio on moduli and Poisson's ratio [moduli and Poisson's ratios are normalized with respect to a(0/90/90/0) laminate]
Waviness

Approach

E 11

0.167

## Present results (mesh 1, 64 elements)

Present results (mesh 2, 100 elements)
Present results (mesh 3, 196 elements)
Whitcomb [7] (20-node 96 elements)
Raju and Wang [5] (CTLT)
Present results (mesh 1, 64 elements)
Present results (mesh 2, 100 elements)
Present results (mesh 3, 196 elements)
Whitcomb [7] (20-node 96 elements)
Raju and Wang [5] (CTLT)
Present results (mesh 1, 64 elements)
Present results (mesh 2, 100 elements)
Present results (mesh 3, 196 elements)
Whitcomb [7] 20-node 96 elements)
Raju and Wang [5] (CTLT)

0.9380
0.9364
0.9340
0.92
0.94
0.9069
0.9064
0.8978
0.88
0.92
0.8170
0.8169
0.7746
0.75
0.79

0.25

0.5

E 33
0.9341
0.9361
0.9367
0.95

0.9035
0.9054
0.9061
0.93

0.8146
0.8152
0.8157
0.84

G 12

G 13

12

13

0.9665
0.9668
0.9745
0.96
0.97
0.9529
0.9535
0.9617
0.94
0.95
0.9157
0.9170
0.9242
0.87
0.87

0.9527
0.9537
0.9546
1.10

0.9289
0.9307
0.9318
1.14

0.8578
0.8612
0.8636
1.22

1.0343
1.0247
1.0198
0.87
1.05
1.0399
1.0384
1.0249
0.81
1.10
1.0876
1.0860
1.0242
0.60
1.25

1.0050
1.0048
1.0029
1.10

1.0076
1.0074
1.0033
1.14

1.0160
1.0154
1.0007
1.28

1910

V.R. Aitharaju, R.C. Averill / Composites Science and Technology 59 (1999) 19011911

## The reference properties for a (0/90)s laminate are

given below.
E 11 7:25  1010

E 33 1:27  1010

G23 0:43  1010

## It can be seen from Table 2 that the present model with

64 elements is able to give reasonably accurate results
compared to Whitcomb's results. We can also see that,
in the case of E 11 , E 33 , G 12 , the results obtained by the
present model agree very closely with Whitcomb's
results for all waviness ratios. The maximum dierence
between the results is around 5%. Also, the present
results are in slightly better agreement with Whitcomb's
three dimensional nite element results than the CLT
results. In the case of 12 ; 32 ; 13 there is considerable
dierence between the present results and Whitcomb's
results. The Poisson's ratio values, 12 given by Whitcomb decrease with waviness, which is unexpected. But
the present results show a slow increasing trend. Whitcomb pointed out this discrepancy in his results [7] and
mentioned that test values show an increase of 12 with
increasing waviness, which is predicted by the current

## model. Also the present in-plane Poisson's ratio results

and the result obtained by CLT are in reasonably good
agreement. The present transverse shear moduli results
(G 13 ) decrease with waviness in contrast with Whitcomb's
results. The present model is not able to capture an
increase in transverse shear modulus with waviness ratio.
Except for the transverse shear modulus G13 , all other
stiness properties predicted by the present theory agree
with the predictions of a complex three dimensional niteelement model. The results demonstrate that the present
model which is both simple and computationally ecient
can give very good stiness predictions compared to
complex three dimensional nite element models.
5.3. Eective moduli and Poisson's ratio estimation
eect of width to thickness ratio (a/t)
Figs. 1013 show the variation of E 11 ; G 12 ; 12 and 23
versus width to thickness ratio (a=t) for the plane weave
composite for various waviness ratios. The results are
obtained using the coarse mesh. The material properties
given in Table 1 are used in this case. It can be seen that
eective stiness increases with increasing a=t ratio. In
case of E 33 , the present model predicts no change with
a=t ratio. It is observed that the Poisson's ratio, 13 , is
almost independent of waviness ratio.

Fig. 10. Variation of in-plane modulus (E 11 ) of plain weave with a=t
ratio.

Fig. 12. Variation of Poisson's ratio (12 ) of plain weave with a=t
ratio.

Fig. 11. Variation of in-plane shear modulus (G 12 ) of plain weave with
a=t ratio.

Fig. 13. Variation of Poisson's ratio (13 ) of plain weave with a=t
ratio.

V.R. Aitharaju, R.C. Averill / Composites Science and Technology 59 (1999) 19011911

6. Conclusions
The eective properties of woven-fabric composites
are estimated using a new analytical/numerical model.
The tow undulation is assumed to be sinusoidal and
undulation in two directions is considered. The unit cell
of the plain weave is identied and it is discretized with
three-dimensional brick elements. Based on the assumed
tow geometry, the tow-volume fraction and its average
orientation in an element are determined spatially.
Using the eective moduli theory, the eective properties of the element in the unit cell are determined. These
eective properties are given as input to the nite element model. The problems of determining the elastic
stinesses and Poisson's ratios are divided into three
sub-problems. These sub-problems dier only by the
load cases, hence the nite element method can be
eectively used to solve these sub-problems eciently.
From the results, the following conclusions can be
drawn.
1. Except for the transverse shear modulus G13 , all
other stiness properties predicted by the present
theory agree with the predictions of a complex
three-dimensional nite-element model.
2. The present model is simple in terms of nite element modeling compared to a full 3-D nite-element model in which tows are represented
discretely. As the tow and resin regions are not
modeled explicitly in the current model, the number of elements required is small, and hence the
analysis can be carried out with less computational
eort compared to a full three-dimensional model.

1911

## 3. The present analysis procedure can be easily

extended for other ber architectures (e.g. 5-harness
satin weave, 8-harness satin weave, etc.).
Acknowledgements
This work is partially supported by the state of
Michigan Research Excellence Fund.
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