Developments in Carbon Fiber Rod Analysis for Sporting Goods Applications

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In sporting goods manufacturing, such as in fishing rod design, new products are created using an Edisonian process. By changing the geometry of the carbon fiber prepreg layup, a rod can be constructed that lends itself to a specific application. This thesis will present an integrated computational materials engineering (ICME) approach for carbon fiber fishing rods using simulation theory and experiments. The computations are based on the finite element method (FEM), including the use of integrated Euler-Bernoulli beam theory in MATLAB. The experimental methodology uses three-point bending (3PB) flexure test analysis to determine values for Young’s Modulus which are then incorporated into numerical solutions and modelling. Discretized values for Young’s Modulus are used in thin-walled tapered cylindrical Euler-Bernoulli beam models through variable second area moment of inertia (I_y) and constant I_y approaches. The 3PB flexural experiments performed on a test rod section agree to FEM solutions, along with convergence with respect to mesh size between variable I_y and constant I_y beam models. A modal analysis on the beam provides insight to the free-vibrational effects of a fishing rod under differing boundary conditions. Through this ICME approach, rod manufacturers can understand properties in rod prototypes and better develop future rod models.