Finite Element Analysis of Defects in Cord-Rubber Composites and Hyperelastic Materials

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Virginia Tech


In recent years, composite materials have been widely used in several applications due to their superior mechanical properties including high strength, high stiffness, and low density. Despite the remarkable advancements in theoretical and computational methods for analyzing composites, investigating the effect of lamina properties and lay-up configurations on the strength of composites still remains an active field of research. Finite Element Method (FEM) and Extended Finite Element Method (XFEM) are powerful tools for solving the boundary value problems. One of the objectives of this work is to employ XFEM as a defect identification tool for predicting the crack initiation and propagation in composites. Another major objective of this study is to investigate the damage development in hyperelastic materials. Two Finite Element models are adopted to study this phenomenon: multiscale modeling of the cord-rubber composites in tires and modeling of intelligent tires for evaluating the feasibility of the proposed defect detection technique.

A new three-dimensional finite element approach based on the multiscale progressive failure analysis is employed to provide the theoretical predictions for damage development in the cord-rubber composites in tires. This new three-dimensional model of the cord-rubber composite is proposed to predict the different types of damage including matrix cracking, delamination, and fiber failure based on the micro-scale analysis. This process is iterative and data is shared between the finite element and multiscale progressive failure analysis. It is shown that the proposed cord-rubber composite model solves the problems corresponding to embedding the rebar elements to the solid elements and also increases the fidelity of numerical analysis of composite parts since the laminate characteristic variables are determined from the microscopic parameters. A tire rolling analysis is then conducted to evaluate the effects of different variables corresponding to the cord-rubber composite on the performance of tires.

Tires operate on the principle of safe life and are the only parts of the vehicle which are in contact with the road surface. Establishing a computational method for defect detection in tire structures will help manufacturers to fix and develop more reliable tire designs. A Finite Element model of a tire with a tri-axial accelerometer attached to its inner-liner was developed and the effects of changing the normal load, longitudinal velocity and tire-road contact friction on the acceleration signal were investigated. Additionally, using the model, the acceleration signals obtained from several accelerometers placed in different locations around the inner-liner of the intelligent tire were analyzed and the defected areas were successfully identified. Using the new intelligent tire model, the lengths, locations, and the minimum number of accelerometers in damage detection in tires are determined. Comparing the acceleration signals obtained from the damaged and original tire models results in detecting defects in tire structures.



Finite element method, XFEM, crack, cord-rubber composite, intelligent tires, damage diagnosis, health monitoring