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Composites Science and Technology 58 (1998) 1961±1972

# 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved


Printed in Great Britain
PII: S0266-3538(98)00033-5 0266-3538/98 $Ðsee front matter

AN ANALYTICAL CHARACTERIZATION OF THE


ANISOTROPY OF THE ELASTIC MODULUS OF MISALIGNED
SHORT-FIBER-REINFORCED POLYMERS

Shao-Yun Fu* & Bernd Lauke


Institute of Polymer Research Dresden e.V., Hohe Strasse 6, 01069 Dresden, Germany

(Received 10 August 1997; revised 16 December 1997; accepted 6 February 1998)

Abstract (FLD) and a ®ber-orientation distribution (FOD) in


Short-®ber-reinforced polymers (SFRP) are very attrac- ®nal components which are the important factors in
tive because of their ease of fabrication, relatively low determining the mechanical properties of SFRP. The
cost and mechanical properties which are superior to e€ects of the FLD and the FOD on mechanical prop-
those of relevant polymer resins. Owing to the partial erties such as strength and sti€ness of SFRP in the
orientation distribution of the ®bers in ®nal components, mold-¯ow direction have been studied by numerous
SFRP composites show direction-dependence, namely researchers.1±14
anisotropy in their mechanical properties. The ®ber- Owing to the partial ®ber orientation, short-®bre
length distribution (FLD) and the ®ber-orientation dis- composites will demonstrate, more or less anisotropy in
tribution (FOD) in SFRP composites play an important their mechanical properties. This inevitability of aniso-
role in determining the composite mechanical properties. tropy in the mechanical properties of short-®bre-rein-
In the present paper, the FLD and the FOD are modelled forced composites can lead to severe deterioration in the
with suitable probability density functions and the lami- total performance of the composites when their unfa-
nate analogy approach is used to derive the expression of vorable direction is highly loaded or under attack by the
the elastic modulus of SFRP as a function of any given environment. Recently, theoretical studies on the elastic
direction, the FLD and the FOD. The direction-depen- anisotropy of short-®ber composites have been receiving
dence, i.e. the anisotropy, of the elastic modulus of SFRP an increasing interest.15±19 Warner and Stobbs15 pro-
has been studied in detail by taking into consideration the posed a continuum-mechanics model based on the
e€ects of the FLD and the FOD. The present theory is Eshelby method to predict the variation in the elastic
applied to existing experimental results, and the agree- modulus of short-®ber composites with loading direc-
ment is found to be very satisfactory. # 1998 Elsevier tion. They studied a model system consisting of a ®nite
Science Ltd. All rights reserved volume fraction of ®bers, which are all of the same
aspect ratio (i.e. the same ®ber length) and in the same
Keywords: A. short-®ber composites, ®bre-length dis- direction, and the e€ects of the ®ber aspect ratio and the
tribution, ®bre-orientation distribution, anisotropy of ®ber volume fraction on the variation in the elastic
elastic modulus modulus of short-®ber composites as a function of the
loading direction were investigated. Dyer et al.16 also
used the Eshelby method to develop a theoretical
1 INTRODUCTION method of calculating bounds on the elastic constants
for unidirectional ®ber-reinforced composites by con-
Short-®ber-reinforced polymers (SFRP) are very attrac- sidering that the ®bers and the matrix both show trans-
tive because of their ease of fabrication, relatively low verse isotropy. Sayer17 carried out a theoretical analysis
cost and mechanical properties which are superior to on the elastic anisotropy of short-®ber-reinforced com-
those of relevant polymer resins. SFRP are often fabri- posites with ®bers of the same length by examing the
cated by the rapid, low-cost injection molding process, sensitivity of the elastic sti€ness tensor to the ®ber
and hence there are in general a ®ber-length distribution orientation. Pan18 presented a statistical analysis to
characterize the modulus anisotropy of short-®ber
*To whom correspondence should be addressed at: Advanced composites and studied the e€ect of the ®ber volume
Materials Research Center, School of Applied Science, fraction on the anisotropy of the elastic modulus by
Nanyang Technological University, Nanyang Avenue, Singa- considering one planar and harmonic ®ber orientation
pore 639798. Fax: 0065 792 6559; e-mail: assyfu@ntu.edu.sg distribution. Dunn et al.19 proposed a relatively simple
1961
1962 S.-Y. Fu, B. Lauke

micromechanics model to predict the entire set of elastic 2.2 Fiber orientation distribution
constants of short-®ber composites for advancing the In order to describe the FOD, we adopt a spatial curvi-
understanding of the dependence of the anisotropical linear coordinate system where the orientation of a ®ber
elastic sti€ness tensor on microstructure, including ®ber in the composite can be de®ned uniquely by a pair of
concentration, shape (aspect ratio) and orientation dis- angles (,) (see Fig. 1).  is de®ned as the angle a ®ber
tribution. The analytical results were given for some makes with the 1 axis (the 1 axis direction may be
special orientation distributions such as unidirectional, assumed to be the mold-¯ow direction or the normal
two-dimensional (2D) random and three-dimensional direction of a plane on which the ®ber orientation dis-
(3D) random ®ber alignment. tribution will be measured), while  is de®ned as the angle
However, in the above studies and in all the literature the projection of the ®ber on to the 2±3 plane (the 2±3
that we have examined, no detailed study of the e€ects plane is the one whose normal is parallel to the 1-axis
of the FLD and the FOD on the direction-dependence direction) makes with the 2 axis. Provided  is the angle of
of the elastic modulus of short-®ber composites, i.e. the one end of the ®ber with the 1 axis, then ÿ is the angle
anisotropy of the elastic modulus of short-®ber compo- of the other end of the ®ber with the 1 axis; similarly, 
sites, has been carried out to date. As a part of our and + are the two angles of the projection of the two
research project, an analytical characterization of the ®ber ends on to the 2±3 plane with the 2 axis, respectively.
anisotropy of the elastic modulus of SFRP will be pre- A two-parameter exponential function to describe the
sented in this paper. As was done in our previous FOD g() was proposed previously,6,7,21 and the FOD
paper,7 the FLD and the FOD are modeled by suitable function can be given as follows
probability density functions and the laminate analogy
approach will be used to derive the expression of the …sin †2pÿ1 …cos †2qÿ1
g…† ˆ 
elastic modulus of SFRP as a function of the given max„
direction (which may be the loading direction or that in …sin †2pÿ1 …cos †2qÿ1 d …4†
min
which the elastic modulus of SFRP is to be measured)
and the FLD and the FOD. The e€ects of the FLD and for 0  min    max  =2
the FOD on the variation in the elastic modulus of
SFRP with the direction, namely the anisotropy of the where p and q are the shape parameters which can be
elastic modulus, will be studied in detail in the present used to determine the shape of the distribution curves,
study. Finally, the theoretical results predicted by the and p1/2 and q1/2. g()d is the probability density
present theory are compared with existing experimental that the orientation of ®bers is between  and +d. It
results.8,20 has been demonstrated that eqn (4) is a suitable prob-
ability density function for describing the FOD g().6,21
The mean ®ber orientation angle, mean, can be derived
2 THEORY from eqn (4) as
…
max

2.1 Fiber-length distribution mean ˆ g…† d …5†


The FLD fucntion f (`) has been de®ned pre- min
viously,6,7,21,22 and it can be expressed as follows:

f …`† ˆ a b `bÿ1 exp…ÿa `b † for ` > 0 …1†

where a and b are scale and shape parameters, respec-


tively, and f (`) d` refers to the probability density that
the length of ®ber is between ` and `+d`. From eqn (1)
we can get the mean ®ber length (i.e. the number aver-
age ®ber length)
…
1

`mean ˆ `f …`†d` ˆ aÿ1=b ÿ…1=b ‡ 1† …2†


0

where ÿ(x) is the gamma function. The most probable


length (mode length), `mod, can be obtained by di€er-
entiating eqn (1) and letting the resultant equation be
Fig. 1. De®nitions of the ®ber orientation angles and the
equal to zero (loading) direction angles  and  (the direction (,) may
be the loading direction or that in which the composite mod-
`mod ˆ ‰1=a ÿ 1=…ab†Š1=b …3† ulus will be measured).
Elastic modulus of misaligned short-®ber-reinforced polymers 1963

Di€erentiating eqn (4) and letting the resultant equation of angles  and +d,  and +d is given by
be zero, we can get g(,)d
, where d
is the in®nitesimal solid angle and

mod ˆ arctanf‰…2p ÿ 1†=…2q ÿ 1†Š1=2 g …6† d


ˆ sin  d d …10†

Equation (6) represents the most probable ®ber orien- The probability density distribution must satisfy two
tation angle (mode ®ber angle). The ®ber orientation physical conditions.24 First, one end of the ®ber is
coecient, f, can be de®ned as follows6,7,14,21,23 indistinguishable from the other end, so  and  must be
periodic:
…
max
g…; † ˆ g… ÿ ;  ‡ † …11†
f ˆ 2 g…† cos2  d ÿ 1 …7†
min
Second, every ®ber must have a pair of orientation
angles  and , so the integral over all possible direc-
For f=ÿ1, all ®bers lie perpendicular to the normal tions or the orientation space must be equal to unity:
direction of the 2±3 plane; f=0 corresponds to a 2D
random distribution or a symmetric distribution about … …
max max

the direction =/4; f=1 implies that all ®bers are g…; † sin  d d ˆ 1 …12†
aligned parallel to the 1-axis direction. min min
The cumulative distribution function of ®ber orienta-
tion () is then given by
where 0minmax and 0minmax2.
… Since the probability of ®nding a ®ber in the in®nite-
G…† ˆ g…† d simal ranges of angles between  and +d and between
min  and +d is either equal to g(,)d
or equal to
… …
max g()g()d d, then we can get
2pÿ1 2qÿ1
ˆ …sin † …cos † d= …sin †2pÿ1 …cos †2qÿ1 d
g…; † ˆ g…†g…†= sin  …13†
min min

…8† Finally, the expression for g(,) can be obtained from


g() and g(). It can be easily veri®ed that the orienta-
G() is the cumulative percentage of the ®bers whose tion distribution function g(,) satis®es its periodic
orientation varies from min to . condition (eqn (11)) and its normalization condition
Equation (4) is the FOD function for  in the range of (eqn (12)). Thus, the function g(,) deduced from g()
0 to /2, then that equivalent to eqn (4) in the range of and g() should also be a proper probability density for
from 0 to  can be easily obtained by replacing cos  a function pair of orientation angles (,).
with j cos j, where jj denotes the absolute value sign, Xia et al.2 also gave the formulae for the FOD
since the value of cos  would be negative when  is functions g() and g() in the ranges of 0 to  for both
greater than /2.  and :
Similarly to the de®nition of g(), we can de®ne an 0 0
orientation probability density function g() for the ‰sin…=2†Š2p ÿ1 ‰cos…=2†Š2q ÿ1
g…† ˆ …14†
®ber orientation angle in the range of 0 to 2 as follows „
max
2p0 ÿ1 2q0 ÿ1
‰sin …=2†Š ‰cos …=2†Š d
min
j sin j2sÿ1 j cos j2tÿ1
g…† ˆ 
„max 0 0
j sin j2sÿ1 j cos j2tÿ1 d …9† ‰sin …=2†Š2s ÿ1 ‰cos …=2†Š2t ÿ1
min
g…† ˆ „max
…15†
2s0 ÿ1 2t0
for 0  min    max  2 2‰sin…=2†Š ‰cos…=2†Š d
min

where s and t are shape parameters which determine the However, as stated above the FOD functions should
shape of the curves of FOD g(). And g()d is the satisfy the periodic condition and the normalization
probability density that the orientation of ®ber lies condition, then p0 must be equal to q0 , and s0 must be
between  and +d. equal to t0 . It can be noted from Xia et al.2 that in fact
The probability density function for a pair of orien- that their experimental results demonstrated this. And
tation angles (,), also known as the orientation dis- the orientation distribution functions (eqns (14) and
tribution function g(,), is de®ned so that the (15)) de®ned by Xia et al.2 when p0 =q0 and s0 =t0 can be
probability of the ®ber lying in the in®nitesimal ranges easily seen to be our special cases.
1964 S.-Y. Fu, B. Lauke

2.3 Elastic modulus of SFRP in the direction (,) The transformed sti€ness constants, Q0 ij, are inte-
Consider a single misaligned ®ber of a length ` and a grated through the thickness of the laminate to obtain
pair of orientation angles (,) as de®ned in Fig. 1. For the overall laminate sti€ness matrix, A ij
a given direction (,) (see Fig. 1), which may be the
loading direction (or that in which the elastic modulus X
M

of SFRP is to be measured), we can get the angle  A ij ˆ Q0ij hk …18†


kˆ1
between the ®ber axial direction (,) and the given
direction (,) from the following equation
where M represents the number of plies in the laminate,
cos  ˆ cos  cos  ‡ sin  sin  cos… ÿ † …16† k is the serial index of the ply in the laminate, and hk is
the thickness fraction of the kth ply. Since the composite
In a similar way to the derivation for the composite has a continuous FOD and a continuous FLD then, as
elastic modulus in the mold-¯ow direction (=0,) described above, the kth ply can be considered to con-
(namely the 1-axis direction in Fig. 1),7 we can easily tain the ®bers of length between ` and `+d` and a pair
derive the expression for the composite elastic modulus of orientation angles between  and +d and between
in any given direction (,). The SFRP composite is  and +d. Thus, the summation in eqn (18) must be
simulated by a laminate and is assumed to be a stack of replaced by the corresponding integral:
plies, as in our previous paper, in deriving the expres-
sion for the elastic modulus of SFRP in the direction … max
`max … …max
(=0,).7 The ®bers of length between ` and `+d` A ij ˆ Q0ij f …`†g…†g…† d` d d …19†
and a pair of orientation angles between  and +d
`min min min
and between  and +d are supposed to be included
in the same ply. First, the sti€ness constants for each ply
are given with the laminate theory. Second, the sti€ness And m (=cos ) and n (=sin ) in eqn (17) can be
constants for each ply are integrated through the thick- transformed with eqn (16) into the functions containing
ness of the laminate to obtain the overall sti€ness con-  and . Finally, we can get the elastic modulus of
stants of the simulated laminate. Third, the elastic SFRP in the direction (,):
modulus of SFRP can be obtained from the relation
between the sti€ness constants and the elastic modulus A 11 A 22 ÿ A 212
of the laminate. Ec …; † ˆ …20†
A 22
The transformation equation for a uniaxial ply
between the components of sti€ness matrix in the on-
axis system and that in the o€-axis system can be given In the next section, the variation in the elastic modulus
by25 of SFRP in the direction (,), Ec(, ), with the
direction (,) (namely the anisotropy of the composite
8 0 9 8 4 9
> Q11 > > m n4 2m2 n2 4m2 n2 > elastic modulus) will be discussed in detail by taking
>
> >
> > > >
>
>
> Q022 >
> >
> n4 m4 2m2 n2 4m2 n2 >
> into account the e€ects of the FLD and the FOD.
>
> >
> >
> >
>
> > >
< Q0 = < m2 n2 >
=
12 m 2 n2 m 4 ‡ n4 ÿ4m2 n2
ˆ
>
> Q 0 >
66 >
>
> m 2 n2 m 2 n2 ÿ2m2 n2 …m2 ÿ n2 †2 >> 3 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
>
> >
> >
> >
>
>
> Q16 >
0 >
> > >
> m3 n ÿmn3 mn3 ÿ m3 n 2…mn3 ÿ m3 n† >>
>
> >
: 0 > ; > : >
; Since  and ÿ are the two angles of the two ends of a
Q26 mn3 ÿm3 n m3 n ÿ mn3 3
2…m n ÿ mn † 3
8 9 ®ber with respect to the 1 axis (see Fig. 1), we will only
> Q11 >
>
> > consider  in the range of 0 to /2 and then the FOD
<Q > =
22 function g() (eqn (4)) in the angle range of 0 to /2 will
> Q12 >
> > be used. The elastic modulus of SFRP in the direction
>
: >
;
Q66 range (0/2, 02) will be evaluated in this
study, and the modulus in the other direction range (/
…17†
2, 02) can be obtained by the mirror sym-
metry, owing to the fact that the two ends of a ®ber are
where m=cos  and n=sin . Note that here the de®ni- indistinguishable, and thus the modulus of SFRP in the
tions of m and n are di€erent from those (m=cos  and direction (,) should be equal to that in the direction
n=sin ) in the direction (=0,),7 because the angle (ÿ,+).
between the ®ber axial direction (,) and the direction The following data of the parameters are used
(,) is now equal to . {Qij} (i, j=1, 2, 6) is the sti€- throughout the paper, unless noted specially:
ness matrix in the on-axis system and Qij have been Ef=82.7 GPa, Gf=27.6 GPa, f=0.22, Em=2.18 GPa,
de®ned in our previous work;7 {Q0 ij} (i, j=1, 2, 6) is the Gm=1.03 GPa, m=0.35, Vf=0.20, df=10 m,
sti€ness matrix in the o€-axis system. `mean=3 198 mm (a=0 15 and b=1.5) and mean=9.46
. .
Elastic modulus of misaligned short-®ber-reinforced polymers 1965

(p=0.6 and q=15). And g()=1/(2) (s=t=0.5,


02) is considered at ®rst. Since g() here is a con-
stant, the material property such as modulus would be
independent of the direction angle , this will be shown
in Figs 2±4 and 6±8.
The predicted elastic modulus of SFRP as a function
of both the direction angle  and the ®ber volume
fraction Vf is shown in Fig. 2 for the unidirectional ®ber
alignment case (i.e. p=0.5, q=1 and mean=0 ), where
the direction angle  is of any value. Figure 2 exhibits
that the elastic modulus of SFRP varies with the direc-
tion angle  and the ®ber volume fraction. The elastic
modulus of SFRP possesses the maximum value at
=0 because in this direction where all ®bers are
oriented, the modulus decreases with the increase in 
and approaches an approximate plateau for about
50 ; nonetheless, the data in Fig. 2 demonstrate that Fig. 3. The e€ect of the mean ®ber orientation angle mean on
there is a minimum in the modulus at =about 80 for the variation in the composite elastic modulus with the direc-
Vf=0.1, at =about 70 for Vf=0.2 and 0.3, and at tion angle  for any value of .
=about 60 for Vf=0.4 and 0.5 (very slightly lower
than that at =90 ). This phenomenon was also oriented in this direction (when mean=57.32 , the ®bers
observed in Warner and Stobbs.15 Obviously, a higher are oriented randomly without any preferred direction
Vf value in the composite will result in a greater com- and, thus, it is observed that the composite is isotropic
posite modulus. Moreover, since the results in Fig. 2 are in the modulus). Moreover, the composite modulus is
obtained for any value of , the modulus is unrelated to independent of the direction angle  because of
the direction angle  since g() is a constant. g()=1/(2), this has been observed in Fig. 2 for the
Figure 3 depicts the elastic modulus of SFRP as a unidirectional ®ber-alignment case and will also be
function of the direction angle  and the mean ®ber observed in Figs 4 and 6±8 but will not be restated.
orientation angle mean for any value of . It is shown in Figure 4 shows the e€ects of the mode ®ber orienta-
Fig. 3 that the composite modulus at a small  (e.g. tion angle mod and the ®ber orientation coecient f on
about 30 ) decreases dramatically with the increase in the variation in the elastic modulus of SFRP with the
the mean ®ber orientation angle mean while the mod- direction angle , where mean=32.7 (p=0.5 and
ulus at a large  (e.g. about 50 ) increases relatively q=1.0, p=0.75 and q=1.57 as well as p=4.0 and
slowly with the increase in mean. For the limit case of q=9.39, respectively). It can be seen from Fig. 4 that the
the 3D random ®ber alignment (see curve (g)) the com- mode ®ber orientation angle and the ®ber orientation
posite modulus maintains a constant for various , and coecient have an evident in¯uence on the variation in
thus the composite is isotropic in the modulus. In addi- the elastic modulus of SFRP with the direction angle .
tion, the composite modulus at =0 is the maximum,
since the ®bers when mean<57.32 are preferentially

Fig. 4. The e€ects of mod and f for mean=32.7 on the var-


Fig. 2. The composite elastic modulus versus the direction iation in the composite elastic modulus with the direction
angle  for various ®ber volume fractions and any value of . angle  for any value of .
1966 S.-Y. Fu, B. Lauke

When  is small (e.g. about 28 ) or large (about 0.782 mm (a=5 and b=8.5), 0.466 (a=5 and b=2.5)
68 ), a smaller mode ®ber orientation angle or smaller and 0.200 mm (a=5 and b=1.0). Figure 7 reveals that
®ber orientation coecient corresponds to a larger when the mean ®ber length is relatively small (e.g.
elastic modulus; however, when  is medium (about <about 1 mm, i.e. the ®ber aspect ratio is <about 100),
28 about 68 ), a smaller mode ®ber orientation a larger mean ®ber length leads to a higher composite
angle or smaller ®ber orientation coecient corresponds modulus at 60 , and the di€erence in the composite
to a smaller elastic modulus. modulus between two cases of di€erent mean ®ber
For the special case of mean=45 and f=0, the e€ect lengths decreases as  increases, while when  is com-
of the cumulative FOD (see Fig. 5) on the variation in paratively large (60 ), the modulus is insensitive to the
the elastic modulus with the direction angle  is shown mean ®ber length. Moreover, the in¯uence of the mean
in Fig. 6. It reveals that a higher cumulative percentage ®ber length on the modulus weakens as the mean ®ber
G() at some angle  (0 <<45 ) (see Fig. 5) corre- length increases. Furthermore, when the mean ®ber
sponds to a higher modulus at about 30 or at length is comparatively large, the mean ®ber length has
about 70 , while conversely to a lower modulus hardly any in¯uence on the modulus of SFRP.
when 30 70 (see Fig. 6). The e€ect of the mode ®ber length on the variation
The variation in the composite modulus with the in the elastic modulus of SFRP with the direction
direction angle  is shown in Fig. 7 for various mean angle  is depicted in Fig. 8 for the two cases of
®ber lengths: 6.667 mm (a=0.15 and b=1.0), 3.198 mm `mean=3.198 mm (a=0.3127 and b=1.0, a=0.15 and
(a=0.15 and b=1.5), 1.096 mm (a=0.15 and b=15), b=1.5, as well as a=0.0406 and b=2.5, respectively)
and `mean=0.309 mm (a=3.239 and b=1.0, a=5.0 and
b=1.5, as well as a=14.0 and b=2.5, respectively).
Figure 8 shows that larger mode ®ber lengths lead to a

Fig. 5. The cumulative ®bre orientation distribution curves


for: (1) p=q=0.5; (2) p=q=1; (3) p=q=2.
Fig. 7. The e€ect of the mean ®ber length `mean on the varia-
tion in the composite elastic modulus with the direction angle
 for any value of .

Fig. 6. The e€ect of the cumulative ®ber orientation distribu- Fig. 8. The e€ect of the mode ®ber length `mode on the varia-
tion G() on the variation in the composite elastic modulus tion in the composite elastic modulus with the direction angle
with the direction angle  for any value of .  for any value of .
Elastic modulus of misaligned short-®ber-reinforced polymers 1967

higher elastic modulus at <about 60 , while when to its maximum at =180 . Moreover, for the cases of
about 60 , the modulus is insensitive to both the mean6ˆ0, it can be seen from Fig. 10 (b)±(d) that when 
mean ®ber length and the mode ®ber length. is small (e.g. as shown in Fig. 10 (c), 0 about 70 )
For the case of g()=1/(2), the e€ects of the FLD or large (e.g. in Fig. 10(c), about 110 180 ), the
and the FOD on the variation in the modulus with the modulus increases with  to a peak value and then
direction angle  have been studied above. Another decreases with  until the minimum value at =90 ,
important case, namely the planar FOD,2,3,20 will be whereas for about 70 <<about 110 , the composite
studied below; for this case g() and its integration modulus decreases with  to its minimum at some cer-
should be eliminated from eqn (19). The results for the tain  of a value within the range of 60 to 80 and then
latter case will be presented below. slightly increases as  increases. Furthermore, Fig. 10
Figure 9 shows the e€ect of the ®ber volume fraction demonstrates that the variation in the elastic modulus of
on the variation in the modulus of SFRP with the SFRP with the direction (,) is symmetric about the
direction (,) (the modulus for 90 180 is not direction angle =90 .
given in the ®gure, since it can be obtained from that for Since the modulus is symmetric about =90 and the
0 90 because the modulus is symmetric about modulus is maximum when =0 and minimum when
=90 for the planar FOD case, which will be shown =90 when considered in the range of 0 to 90 , and
in Fig. 10). Figure 9 reveals that the composite modulus varies continuously with , for simplicity and without
varies also with  as well as  and Vf. Obviously, a loss of generality we will only evaluate the modulus at
higher Vf leads to a higher modulus. Moreover, Fig. 9 =0 and =90 in the following.
exhibts that the modulus is maximum when =0 and The variation in the modulus of SFRP with the
minimum when =90 except at =0 and 90 . direction angle  for =0 and 90 is shown in Fig. 11
Figure 10 shows the variation in the elastic modulus for various mode ®ber orientation angles mod and ®ber
of SFRP with the direction (,) for various mean, orientation coecient f (mean=32.7 ), namely
namely (a) mean=0 (p=0.5 and q=1), (b) mod=0 (p=0.5 and q=1.0), mod=13.2 (p=0.75 and
mean=12.95 (p=0.6 and q=8), (c) mean=35.95 q=1.57) and mod=21.5 (p=4.0 and q=9.39). Figure
(p=0.6 and q=1) and (d) mean=45 (p=0.5 and 11 reveals that the mode ®ber orientation angle mod
q=0.5). Figure 10 exhibts the signi®cant in¯uence of the and ®ber orientation coecient f have an evident
mean ®ber orientation angle mean on the variation in in¯uence on the modulus variance of SFRP with the
the elastic modulus of SFRP with the direction (,). direction angle . At =0 , a smaller mode ®ber
Comparison of Fig. 10(a)±(d) reveals that the elastic orientation angle or a smaller ®ber orientation coe-
modulus increases with the decrease in the mean ®ber cient f corresponds to a higher modulus for
orientation angle mean when the direction angle  is 0 about 10 or about 60 90 while for about
small while, when the direction angle  is large, the 10 about 60 , a larger mode ®ber orientation angle
modulus decreases to some extent with the decrease in or a larger ®ber orientation coecient f corresponds to
the mean ®ber orientation angle mean. At =90 , for a higher modulus. At =90 , a smaller mode ®ber
the cases of a small mean ®ber orientation angle mean, orientation angle or a smaller ®ber orientation coe-
the composite modulus hardly varies with  (see cient f corresponds to a higher modulus for about
Fig. 10(a) and (b)), while for the cases of large mean 60 , while when about 60 , the modulus is insensi-
®ber orientation angle, the modulus decreases with  to tive to the mode ®ber orientation angle and ®ber orien-
its minimum at =90 and afterwards increases with  tation coecient.
Figure 12 exhibits the e€ect of the cumulative FOD
on the variation in the modulus of SFRP with the
direction angle  for =0 and 90 , where mean=45 .
It is shown in Fig. 12 that the cumulative FOD (see
Fig. 5) also has an evident in¯uence on the variation in
the composite modulus with the direction angles  and
. When =0 , a lower cumulative percentage (higher
p and q) at some orientation angle  smaller than 45
(i.e. 0 <<45 , as shown in Fig. 5) corresponds to a
higher modulus for about 18 about 72 , while for
about 18 or about 72 , a higher cumulative
percentage (lower p and q) corresponds to a higher
modulus. When =90 , a higher cumulative percentage
at <45 corresponds to a higher modulus for
about 60 , while for about 60 the modulus is
independent of the cumulative percentage. Moreover, it
Fig. 9. The e€ect of the ®ber volume fraction on the variation is shown in Fig. 12 that when =0 , the modulus is the
in the composite elastic modulus with the direction (,). maximum at =45 and is symmetric about =45 .
1968 S.-Y. Fu, B. Lauke

Fig. 10. The composite elastic modulus versus the direction (,) for various mean ®ber orientation angle mean: (a) mean=0 , (b)
mean=12.95 , (c) mean=35.95 and (d) mean=45 .

Fig. 11. The e€ects of mod and f for mean=32.7 on the Fig. 12. The e€ect of the cumulative ®ber orientation dis-
variation in the composite elastic modulus with the direction tribution G() on the variation in the composite elastic mod-
angle  for =0 and 90 . ulus with the direction angle  for =0 and 90 .

Figure 13 shows the e€ect of the mean ®ber length on leads to a higher elastic modulus for <about 80
the elastic modulus of SFRP as a function of the direc- while for about 80 the modulus is nearly insensitive
tion angles  and , where Vf=0.40 and mean=35.95 to the mean ®ber length. As the mean ®ber length
(p=0.6 and q=1). Figure 13 exhibits that when the increases, the sensitivity of the modulus to the mean
mean ®ber length is small, a larger mean ®ber length ®ber length decreases, and the mean ®ber length has
Elastic modulus of misaligned short-®ber-reinforced polymers 1969

Fig. 15. The curves of the ®ber orientation function g() to be


used in Fig. 16.

Fig. 13. The e€ect of the mean ®ber length on the variation of cos )/2 and g()=Abs(cos )3/2.663 will be used and
the composite elastic modulus with the direction angle  for are shown in Fig. 15. Although the FODs of Abs(sin 
=0 and 90 .
cos )/2 and Abs(cos )3/2.663 may not easily be met
practically, their use can e€ectively clarify the e€ect of
hardly any in¯uence on the modulus of SFRP when g() on the composite modulus. The e€ect of g() on the
`mean is large (e.g. about 1 mm). composite modulus is shown in Fig. 16, where p=0.6
Figure 14 shows the e€ect of the mode ®ber length on and q=1 for g() (mean=35.95 ). Figure 16(a) shows
the variation in the composite modulus with the direc- that the FOD g() does not in¯uence the modulus in the
tion angle  for =0 and 90 . It is exhibited in Fig. 14 direction (=0 , =any value) but in¯uences the
that a larger mode ®ber length leads to a higher mod- modulus in other directions. The composite modulus for
ulus when  is small (e.g. about 50 for =0 and the uniform random ®ber distribution for (g()=1/(2))
about 30 for =90 ), whereas when  is large (e.g. is independent of the direction angle  (Fig. 16(b)),
>about 50 for =0 and >about 30 for =90 ) the while the modulus for the other two cases is dependent
mode ®ber length has hardly any in¯uence on the mod- on . And the modulus for g()=1/(2) has a medium
ulus of SFRP. value when compared with those for  from 0 to 90
The e€ects of the FOD g() and the FLD f(`) on for the other two cases. Moreover, it is of interest to
the anisotropy of the modulus of SFRP have been note that the curves (see Fig. 16 (b)) of the modulus of
studied above for the two important cases of the SFRP versus the direction angle  are similar to the
uniform random ®ber distribution for  (i.e. g()=1/ curves (see Fig. 15) of the corresponding g() versus .
(2)) and of the planar FOD. Now we study the Namely, when g()=1/(2), g() does not change
e€ect of the FOD g() on the modulus. The follow- with  and also the modulus does not vary with ;
ing three FODs for : g()=1/(2), g()=Abs(sin  on the other hand, when g()=Abs(sin  cos )/2
and g()=Abs(cos )3/2.663, g() is the periodic
function of  and the composite modulus as a function
of  is also periodic.

4 APPLICATION TO EXISTING EXPERIMENTAL


RESULTS

Table 1 makes a comparison between the theoretical


results predicted by the present theory and the experi-
mental results8 of the composite moduli in the direction
=0 and /2 for the unidirectional ®ber alignment
case. Two mean ®ber lengths `mean=0.466 mm (a=5
and b=2.5) as well as `mean=3.198 mm (a=0.15 and
b=1.5)) and df=10 M are assumed and Ef=72.4 GPa,8
Gf=29.6 GPa,8 f=0.22,8 Em=2.8 GPa,8 Gm=1.17 Gpa,8
m=0.358 and Vf=0.50.8 Table 1 shows that the results
Fig. 14. The e€ect of the mode ®ber length `mode on the var- of the composite modulus for =0 and =/2 pre-
iation in the composite elastic modulus with the direction dicted by the present theory agree well with the
angle  for =0 and 90 . experimental results. Also, the existing theoretical
1970 S.-Y. Fu, B. Lauke

Fig. 17. The cumulative orientation percentage, G(), of ®bers


(experimental results: circle points and theoretical results: solid
line).

Also, the present theory is applied to the published


experimental results concerning injection-molded short-
glass-®ber-reinforced poly(ethylene terephthalate)
(PET).20 The composite was divided into the surface
layers and the middle layers, and the investigated tensile
bar specimens showed an approximate planar FOD.
The cumulative ®ber orientation percentages of ®bers
were measured for the surfaces layers and the core
(middle) layers, and the cumulative percentage of the
®bers in the whole composite can be obtained from
Kwok et al.20 as shown in Fig. 17 (circle points) for
Fig. 16. The e€ect of the ®ber orientation function g() on the
variation in the composite elastic modulus (a) with the direc- Vf=0.184. The cumulative orientation distribution
tion angle  for various  and (b) with the direction angle  function of ®bers (eqn (8)), is used to simulate the
for =60 . cumulative FOD, and the result is shown in Fig. 17
(p=0.52 and q=6, see solid line). And the following
data of the parameters are used to predict the variation
model for the transverse modulus (i.e. the transverse in the composite elastic modulus with the direction
modulus theory).26,27 (,):20 Ef=76 GPa, Gf=30.4 GPa, f=0.25,
Em=4.0 GPa, Gm=1.43 GPa, m=0.40, Vf=0.184,
Ec … ˆ 90 ; † ˆ Ef Em =…Vf Em ‡ …1 ÿ Vf †Ef † …21† df=9.4 m and `mean/df=31 (`mean=0.291 mm, a=6.7
and b=1.7). The composite elastic modulus is evaluated
is applied to the existing experimental result. However, by the present theory, and the theoretical results and the
the modulus value evaluated with this transverse mod- experimental results are presented in Fig. 18. The elastic
ulus theory is much lower than the experimental value. moduli in the three directions (=0 , =0 ), (=90 ,
Therefore, the present theory is a more precise model in =0 ) and (=90 , =90 ) were investigated experi-
predicting the transverse modulus of SFRP for the uni- mentally. Figure 18 reveals that the theoretical results
directional ®ber alignment case than the transverse agree very well with the experimental ones in the three
modulus theory (eqn (21)). directions experimentally investigated.

Table 1. Comparison of the theoretical and experimental results of the longitudinal and transverse moduli of the unidirectional short-
glass-®ber epoxy composite8
System(stress direction) Sti€ness (GPa)
Present theory Transverse modulus theory26,27 Experimental results8
`mean =0.466 mm 3.198 mm
Longitudinal to short ®bers 31.93 36.21 31.0
Transverse to short ®bers 9.58 9.58 5.39 9.6
Elastic modulus of misaligned short-®ber-reinforced polymers 1971

the direction angle  are similar to the curves of the FOD


function g() versus . Finally, the theory is applied to
some existing experimental results8,20 and the theoretical
results predicted by the present theory are found to agree
well with the published experimental results.

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