Micro-CT driven characterization and validation of constituents’ properties used in origami-inspired foldable composites fabricated via different manufacturing processes

Adnan Ahmed, Israr Ud Din, Rajasekar Ramachandran, M. S. Sikandar Bathusha, Wesley Cantwell, Kamran A. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

High packaging efficient lightweight jointless deployable folding structures are nowadays fabricated from combination of rigid and thin flexible elastic hinges using fiber reinforced polymers composites (FRPCs) for various applications such as space, robotics, flexible electronics, etc. It is of high importance to optimize these structures in the design phase using computer aided analysis tools for which the structural-level elastic constants are challenging to find experimentally. In this work, a generic X-ray computed tomography (micro-CT) driven framework based on voxel modeling approach was developed to virtually characterize the smallest building block of a typical large-scale foldable structure that consists of a rigid region and elastic hinge needed for folding operation. The voxel-based description of a real representative volume element (RVE) was generated using the images obtained from the micro-CT. The homogenized mechanical properties for each of the material systems was then obtained by multi-parameter component segmentation and subsequent directional averaging of the corresponding voxels. Three-dimensional void analyses were also shown using the micro-CT based voxel modeling. The accuracy of the non-destructive framework was demonstrated for four materials systems, based on different combinations of the matrix and fabric architectures in comparison with the mechanical tests. The homogenized mechanical properties obtained using the present framework based on the real RVE showed good agreement with the experimental results providing a foundation for a structural-level computer aided analysis.

Original languageBritish English
Article number117382
JournalComposite Structures
Volume322
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2023

Keywords

  • Folding structures
  • Mechanical testing
  • Micro-CT (μCT)
  • Origami
  • Virtual characterization

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