A Multiscale Approach for the Mechanical Investigation of Textile-Based Composite Structures within a Closed Process Chain

In the research campus ARENA2036, the project DigitPro (Digital Prototype) aims at supporting and improving the production cycle of textile-based composite structures (braided or Open-Reed-Weaving textiles) with numerical simulations within a closed process chain. Along the development of different process simulations (braiding, weaving, draping and infiltrating simulation), crucial challenges are the characterization of the mechanical behaviour of the textile based composites and the structure testing under quasistatic and crash load. An extensive investigation of these textiles would results in non-negligible experimental efforts due to the high number of possible textile architectures. In this context, a numerical approach based on simulations at different physical scales is being developed to progressively replace experimental tests by virtual testing. The numerical investigation of the textile mechanical properties relies on the generation of a Representative Volume Element at the mesoscopic scale with the open source software TexGen and its virtual testing in tension and compression with the FE-software LS-DYNA. The simulated mechanical properties are saved in a material database to be used in further structure or optimization simulations in the process chain. The transition from the mesoscale – where the process simulations take place as well – to the macroscale for structure simulation is achieved through homogenization strategy or using a mapping algorithm. These two approaches allow considering local variations of the textile architecture, introduced during the production processes, when estimating the performance of the designed structure. To guaranty a good traceability, every output generated during this multiscale analysis is saved and documented in a global product database developed in an intern, neutral HDF5 format. The multiscale approaches and ‘inter-scale’ tools are illustrated in this paper on the example of a textile-based generic component defined in DigitPro.