The demand for lightweight materials is rising due to resource scarcity, environmental awareness and legal provisions. Fiber reinforced composites (FRCs) are among the most desirable lightweight materials, which combine strong mechanical properties with low density. One big challenge for FRCs is the high costs in comparison to conventional materials, like steel or aluminum. The high costs arise from three aspects. These aspects are high material costs, many and cost intensive production steps and often the demand of manually processing. The costs of FRCs need to be reduced to enable a higher market share.
The cost reduction of the production can be achieved through modeling the effects of the production processes on the fiber materials. With this, sources of errors can be identified and improved. Furthermore, a more precise material design and possible lower security factors can be achieved due to a production history of the FRC.
The new approach to achieve the goals is a micro-scale model with entanglement and sizing. Thus, the structure of a filament tow can be modeled accurate. This micro model is used to determine a meso-scale tow model. Therefore, homogenization and discretization methods are used to deduce material properties for the meso-scale and loads from the meso-scale to the micro-scale.