Abstract

This paper describes the finite element numerical simulation of the mechanical behavior of a pre-stressed, heat-shrinkable, fiber reinforced polymer composite connector during assembly and operation. A multi-step finite element analysis has been developed to simulate the stresses and deformations developed due to prestressing and heat-shrinking during assembly. Then the viscoelastic creep during storage of the connector was modeled and compared with measured creep in order to estimate the practical storage life of the connector. Finally, the mechanical behavior of the joint during operation was simulated by the use of four point bending tests, and again the predictions from the multi-step finite element analysis were compared with measurements.

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