Assessing Parameterized Geometric Models of Woven Composites using Image-Based Simulations

February 21, 2023

Collin W. Foster (1) (2), Lincoln N. Collins (2), Francesco Panerai (1), and Scott A. Roberts (2)
arXiv. (21 February 2023). DOI:


Mesoscale simulations of woven composites using parameterized analytical geometries offer a way to connect constituent material properties and their geometric arrangement to effective composite properties and performance. However, the reality of as-manufactured materials often differs from the ideal, both in terms of tow geometry and manufacturing heterogeneity. As such, resultant composite properties may differ from analytical predictions and exhibit significant local variations within a material. We employ mesoscale finite element method simulations to compare idealized analytical and as-manufactured woven composite materials and study the sensitivity of their effective properties to the mesoscale geometry. Three-dimensional geometries are reconstructed from X-ray computed tomography, image segmentation is performed using deep learning methods, and local fiber orientation is obtained using the structure tensor calculated from image scans. Suitable approximations to composite properties, using analytical unit cell calculations and effective media theory, are assessed. Our findings show that an analytical geometry and sub-unit cell geometry provide reasonable predictions for the effective thermal properties of a multi-layer production composite.

How Our Software Was Used

The author’s simulated workflow included using a deep model trained in Dragonfly to segment warp and weft tows and post processing filtering.

Author Affiliation

(1) Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
(2) Engineering Sciences Center, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM 87185, USA