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How To - Obtain Material Properties for the Structural Analysis of Composites

The material behavior for composites are different than for most metallic, plastic, and ceramic materials. The major difference is their anisotropic nature and their composition of two or more separate materials, each with their own set of material properties. The material properties are also highly dependent on the processing methods used to manufacture the composite structure so this needs to be understood and appreciated. Material data is not always readily available and much of the data is held proprietary by the end users of the material. Standard test data is often not adequate to fully represent the material behavior in the material models available for finite element analysis. The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to those involved in analyzing composite materials and structures on how and where to obtain material properties for the purposes of numerical analysis. The target audience is anyone involved in the structural analysis of composites. It is expected that the reader is familiar with finite element modeling.


  1. Introduction. 1
  2. Composite Construction and Material Types. 3
  3. Material Model Types. 7
  4. Material Models. 11
  5. Micromechanical Modeling of Materials. 13
  6. Test Standards. 19
  7. Developing FEA Material Models from Test Data. 27
  8. Available Test Data. 35
  9. Example Process. 41
  10. Manufacturing Simulation. 49
  11. Conclusions. 53
  12. References. 55
  13. Acronyms. 59
  14. Professional Simulation Engineer 61

Document Details

AuthorYancey. R
Date 1st September 2020
OrganisationNAFEMS Composites Working Group


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