A finite element approach for cure simulation of thermosetting matrix composites

Sung Yi, H. H. Hilton, M. F. Ahmad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A nonlinear transient heat transfer finite element model is developed to simulate the curing process of polymer matrix composites. Temperature distributions inside laminates can be evaluated by solving the nonlinear anisotropic heat conduction equations including internal heat generation produced by exothermic chemical reactions. Thermal properties are assumed to be both temperature and degree of cure dependent. Thermal properties, degree of cure and internal heat generation due to the exothermic reaction are permitted to vary within an element. Numerical examples are presented to verify accuracy and convergence and to demonstrate use of the present finite element procedure for analyzing composite curing processes. Glass-polyester and Hercules AS4/3501-6 graphite-epoxy composites are considered. Good agreement between experimentally measured and predicted temperature distributions is obtained for various cure cycle histories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-388
Number of pages6
JournalComputers and Structures
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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