Finite Element Analysis of Polyurethane Based Composite Shafts Under Different Boundary Conditions

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the ASME 2014 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE 2014)




Depending on the type of matrix materials, composites can be broadly divided into three different major classifications: Organic-matrix composites (OMC), metal-matrix composites (MMC), and ceramic-matrix composites (CMC). OMC can be further sub-classified into polymer-matrix composites (PMC) and carbon-matrix composites or carbon-carbon composites. In this paper the main objective is to focus on polyurethane based PMC composites. Polyurethane is one of the widely used polymer matrix materials. It has diversified applications, easily available and cheap. In this computational study a composite shaft with a core made of matrix material completely wrapped around by a woven fiber cloth with a very strong bonding between core and fibers is considered. Three different types of woven fibers: fiber glass, Kevlar 49, and carbon fibers, are considered. A woven fabric is the interlocking or weaving of two unidirectional fibers. This configuration is often used to produce curve surfaces because of the ease with which it could be placed on and conform to curved surfaces. Authors had fabricated these three composites in their in-house laboratory. They had also experimentally measured the mechanical properties of these composites using 3-point bending test which already been published.

In this current study finite element analyses has been performed for the modeling of the static response of these three different polyurethane based composite shafts as fiber glass reinforced polyurethane epoxy, carbon fiber reinforced polyurethane epoxy, and Kevlar fibers reinforced polyurethane epoxy for three different boundary conditions. These three boundary conditions are simply supported, cantilever, both end fixed types with bending loads applied at the middle for simply supported case and distributed load along the length of the shaft for the last two types of boundary conditions. A three dimensional model of the composite beam has been implemented in this study using SolidWorks. A finite element commercial software ANSYS is used to investigate the stress response and deformation behavior of the model geometry for these three polyurethane based composite shafts for these three boundary conditions. A twenty node three dimensional element has been implemented for the finite element formulation of the modeled geometry such that it is applicable for the analysis of a layered composite structure, while providing support for linear, large rotation, and large strain nonlinear loading conditions. Convergence has also been ensured for various mash configurations in this work.