Shape distortion in composites: sources, characterization, and remedies
This paper reviews the shape distortions in a polymer composite, its sources, characterization techniques, and remedies. The shape distortion may include warpage, spring-in, or change in enclosed diameter for flat, angled, and circular parts. Residual stresses are considered to be the major source of shape distortion (dimensional instability) in laminated composites. These stresses are the result of the difference in thermal expansion behavior of the different plies or between matrix and reinforcement. Additionally, fiber buckling, transversal cracking, and delamination are also produced in the composite, affecting its mechanical properties like tensile, flexural, and compression. The produced residual stresses are determined through different techniques like layer removal of symmetrical laminates, first ply failure, and x-ray diffraction. The common remedies for shape distortion reported in the literature include nanoparticle addition and variable thickness at the base or flanges.