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FATIGUE ANALYSIS OF COMPOSITE MATERIALS USING

ANSYS WORKBENCH – A TTRC White Paper

COMPOSITE MATERIAL progressive damage occurs which shows

A composite material is composed of itself by the propagation of cracks.

two or more constituents combined on a Fatigue analysis enables designers to

macroscopic scale by mechanical and estimate the fatigue life of new products,

chemical bonds. One of the material called such as automobiles, airplanes, heavy

the 'matrix phase' is in the form of fibers, equipment, electric motors and electronic

sheets, or particles and is embedded in the components.

other material called the 'reinforcing phase'.


Composite materials offer a combination of FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS

good strength and modulus that are either Fatigue FEA evaluation provides data about

comparable to or better than metallic metals. fatigue life, crack propagation and Fracture

Because of their low specific gravities, the strength, which are used to make informed

strength to weight-ratio and modulus to choices to ensure product integrity with

weight-ratios are marked superior. In a optimized fatigue life.

composite material, fiber carries most the


load and is the major contributor to material Fatigue evaluation with ANSYS FEA is done

properties. The resin helps to transfer load using any of the following modules:

between fibers, prevents them from buckling 1. ANSYS WB Fatigue module

and binds the materials together. 2. ANSYS nCode Design Life

FATIGUE ANALYSIS ANSYS WB Fatigue module is mainly used

Most component designs involve for isotropic materials and ANSYS nCode

parts subjected to fluctuating or cyclic loads Design Life is suitable to analyze composite

and such loading induces fluctuating or materials modelled in layered approach.

cyclic stresses that often result in failure by ANSYS nCode works with ANSYS

fatigue. Fatigue failure can lead to complete Mechanical, using the results from ANSYS

fracture, if the structure is further subjected Mechanical, it calculates stresses and strains,

to repeated cyclic loadings and hence a then cumulates damage from repetitive
loading to determine a product’s predicted
life.
FEA Sample Case study
Fatigue analysis performed on leaf
spring made of carbon/epoxy composite is
considered for this study. The leaf spring
model is developed in ANSYS workbench
itself, with constant thickness of 10 mm and
Fig1. Total deformation of composite leaf spring
width of 50 mm. Orthotropic properties are
assigned for carbon/epoxy material and
appropriate element size is selected
according to the geometry feature, quality of
meshing as desired.
The boundary conditions are assumed
to be static. One end of the leaf spring is
Fig2. Von-Mises stress of composite leaf spring
mounted on the axle of the vehicle and other
end is connected to frame of the vehicle. So,
fixed support is applied on one end of leaf
spring with a load of 400 N acting on top of
the spring.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION


Static structural analysis is carried out Fig3. Factor of safety of composite leaf spring

to find the deformation and von-Mises stress.


After static analysis, in the post processing,
fatigue tool is introduced to avail results such
as Factor of safety, Design Life and Damage.

The result plots are shown in the figures


aside. It was observed that the FEA results
almost matched with the experimental data.
Fig4. Fatigue life cycles of composite leaf spring