Common assumptions for many theoretical models for composites are those of perfectly straight or sinusoidal fibre and tow paths. This is inconsistent with reality and the limitations imposed on models by such assumptions are an area that FAC Technology investigates
New experimental and theoretical methods for evaluating composites are constantly being developed by academia. The reason for this is that, for lack of a simpler explanation, current methods don’t necessarily work. Different methods (both experimental and theoretical) pose their unique capabilities and deficiencies. Unfortunately, there are no reliable and universally applicable methods for most matters pertaining to composites.

Therefore FAC Technology devotes a substantial amount of time and resources to ascertaining where various methods start to fail in their purpose, and why. Using a range of data acquisition techniques (conventional sensors, signal conditioning and data logging, digital image correlation, ultrasound, optical and electron microscopy) in combination with in-house Fortran and Matlab programs, vast amounts of additional data can be gathered from the tests. This data is used to interrogate the underlying assumptions and efficacy of experimental and modelling methodologies. It also aids us in establishing the effect of materials and manufacturing methods on mechanical and processing performance. This information also feeds into our analytical and computational modelling methods (particularly FEA). By carrying out this continuous feedback cycle, future projects can be completed with ever increasing speed and fidelity.

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