"A representative volume element (RVE) based model to evaluate the mechanical performance of noncrimp fabric (NCF) composites has been developed and presented hereafter. By means of the stiffness averaging method, the modelling procedure is able to simulate the NCF’s elastic properties taking into account the effects of process-induced defects and final geometrical configuration. Microscopy analysis has been used to quantitatively evaluate the effects of tow waviness, stitching geometrical parameters and matrix porosity; these features have been included as sub-models into the final model. Numerical predictions have been compared to the results of tensile tests performed on composite coupons. A geometrical parameter characterising the undulation of the tows has been introduced and a sensitivity analysis has been performed on the model with different undulations."
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