Modeling and Simulation of Polymer Composite Prepreg Forming Process


Fabrication of composite materials has been traditionally achieved with the help of metallic molds to ensure proper shape. The development of new forming and molding processes is expensive because the molds to produce parts are made from highly polished metal which can take months to manufacture. These molds need to be tested to ensure high part quality for production. Molds that cannot produce parts to specifications will need to be scrapped and redesigned. Simulation of the mold surfaces and manufacturing process reduces the iterations to produce high quality parts. Forming process for prepreg materials was explored using simulations to study the evolution of defects during the composite forming and layup process. Material characterization of the prepreg materials provides the real properties required for simulation. Shear modulus, stiffness, friction, and peel strength for carbon/epoxy prepreg are determined experimentally for an eight-harness satin weave prepreg. A hemispherical punch and forming die was modeled. Results are presented for the final shape of the formed part and the nature of forming defects are observed.

Meeting Name

6th Annual Composites and Advanced Materials Expo, CAMX 2019 (2019: Sep. 23-26, Anaheim, CA)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for High Performance Computing Research

Keywords and Phrases

Composite materials; Defects; Metal molding, Composite forming; Forming defects; Manufacturing process; Material characterizations; Model and simulation; Polymer composite; Prepreg materials; Real properties, Molds

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2020 Ever J. Barbero, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Sep 2020

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