Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

A finite deformation Cosserat continuum model for uncured carbon fibre composites

Sakhaei, Amir Hosein, Erland, Samuel, Dodwell, Timothy J. (2020) A finite deformation Cosserat continuum model for uncured carbon fibre composites. Mechanics of Materials, 151 . Article Number 103611. ISSN 0167-6636. (doi:10.1016/j.mechmat.2020.103611) (KAR id:83468)


A new three-dimensional, finite deformation Cosserat continuum model for the elastic response of uncured carbon fibre composites is presented. The new composite process model captures the bending contribution of bundles of fibres at the microscale within a mesoscale continuum description of a composite ply. This is achieved by introducing higher-order, independent rotational degrees of freedom into the continuum formulation. This paper demonstrates the inclusion of such mechanics is essential to accurately model various bending responses induced during typical composite manufacturing processes. This includes large deformation forming, finite strain consolidation and wrinkling (the formation of an unwanted defect). If such mechanics are not included, the literature demonstrates the resulting finite element solutions have a pathological dependence on the mesh size. As a result, simulations require users to fit mesh-dependent material parameters, which limits confidence in their predictive capabilities. The Cosserat continuum, which can be seen as a form of the regularised continuum model, overcomes these challenges. In particular, this paper presents details of the finite element formulation of the new continuum model within a nonlinear Taylor–Hood Cosserat Element. Implementation details of embedding this new element within the commercial code Abaqus are given, alongside a series of increasingly complex validation simulations. Notably, the examples include modelling the formation of internal fibre wrinkles and large deformation forming, which involves complex ply-to-ply and tool-to-ply contact. The paper concludes by describing: (1) how the elastic Cosserat model can be integrated into existing large deformation process models in the literature. The approach set out readily allows researchers to include the important effects of resin flow, cure kinetics and temperature distribution, not considered in this contribution, and (2) how it is envisaged that the ply scale model can be naturally scaled up to large laminate scale simulation using mathematical upscaling techniques.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.mechmat.2020.103611
Uncontrolled keywords: Composite process modeling; Higher-order mechanics; Cosserat continuum; Nonlinear finite elements
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General) > TA 418.9 Materials of special composition or structure
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Engineering and Digital Arts
Depositing User: Amirhosein Sakhaei
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2020 11:31 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 16:20 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Sakhaei, Amir Hosein.

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:
  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.