The objective of the current work is to conduct a systematic analysis on the effects of manufacturing induced defects such as random distribution of fibers and presence of voids in matrix on the damage initiation in polymeric composites. Upon infusing resin, the initial fiber configuration undergoes perturbation and results in a random distribution with pockets of resin rich areas and fiber clusters. In addition, this could result in micro voids (between the fibers in the bundle) and macro voids (between the fiber bundles). A novel methodology has been put forward to generate random distributions of fibers that would simulate different levels of perturbations in the manufacturing process resulting in different configurations of fiber clusters. An embedded Representative Volume Element (RVE) approach has been adopted in a finite element model to calculate the stress fields without artificial effects of the RVE boundary. Damage initiation is then analyzed using a previously proposed energy based criterion for cavitation in polymers.

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