Using a Sliding Plate Rheometer to Obtain Material Parameters for Simulating Long Fiber Orientation in Injection Molded Composites
This work is concerned with determining empirical parameters in stress and fiber orientation models required to accurately simulate the fiber orientation in injection molded composites. An independent approach aims to obtain the material parameters using a sliding plate rheometer to measure the rheology of fiber suspensions at increased fiber lengths subjected to transient shear flow. Fiber orientation was measured in conjunction with shear stress to determine the relationship between stress and fiber orientation. Using a compression molding sample preparation procedure, the transient shear stress response was measured for glass and carbon fiber suspensions up to a number average fiber aspect ratio (length/diameter) of 100. Increases in concentration or fiber aspect ratio caused the magnitude of the stress response to increase by as much as an order of magnitude when compared to the suspending matrix. The degree of shear thinning at low shear rates also increased with increases in aspect ratio and concentration. The compression molding sample preparation procedure provided poor control of the initial fiber orientation which led to the investigation of samples subjected to flow reversal and samples generated through injection molding. The samples prepared through injection molding provided improved repeatability in the measured shear stress response and fiber orientation evolution during the startup of flow compared to compression molded samples and samples subjected to flow reversal. From repeatable stress and orientation evolution data, models for stress and fiber orientation were assessed independently. Current theories for stress were unable to reflect the overshoot in the measured stress response and could at best capture the steady state. The transient behavior of the fiber orientation models were found to be highly dependent on the initial fiber orientation. The repeatable orientation data obtained from the injection molding sample preparation procedure provided material parameters in the strain reduction factor and reduced strain closure models. The injection molded samples provided evolution data from different initial fiber orientations to provide further scrutiny or validation of the material parameters. Orientation model parameters that provided reasonable agreement to multiple sets of fiber evolution data in simple shear flow should allow for a better assessment of the orientation models in complex flow simulations.