- 2017 by DEStech Publications, Inc. Finite element analysis was used to investigate a 3D orthogonally woven composite. The tow architecture was generated using VTMS, a tool created by AFRL for generating textile composite models. Because of the complexity of the geometry, the study included an evaluation of the cross-sectional area variation. A nominal cross-sectional area was defined by dividing the volume of the tow by the length of the tow path. The cross-sectional area of the tows varied between -13% and 18% of the nominal value, which would result in up to a 26% range in the fiber volume fraction. The average stress for the tow cross-sections varied along the tow path for all tows. The locations of the peak average stresses were sensitive to both the tow undulation and the surrounding material. The locations of highest stress concentrations did not always match the locations of peak average stress.