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Interlaminar stresses and fracture behavior in thickness-tapered composite laminates

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Interlaminar stresses and fracture behavior in thickness-tapered composite laminates

He, Kan (2002) Interlaminar stresses and fracture behavior in thickness-tapered composite laminates. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Design and manufacture of a variable thickness composite laminate such as a helicopter yoke involves tapering the laminate by dropping individual plies at discrete internal locations, in order to tailor the stiffness of the laminate. The ply drop in the laminate creates large interlaminar stresses and initiates delamination. Therefore, there is a necessity to investigate the fundamental failure mechanisms and controlling parameters that account for the delamination mode of failure in tapered laminates. In this thesis, a numerical and experimental study on interlaminar stresses and delamination in tapered laminates is presented, including a critical and comprehensive review on earlier works on this type of structure. Numerical analyses performed involved development of partial hybrid stress finite elements needed to enhance computational efficiency, and development of a physical concept-based modified shear-lag model that is based on the essential assumptions that both plies and resin layers are treated as carriers of tensile stress and also to act as stress-transfer media. Experimental analysis was attempted to assess the accuracy of the numerical predictions. For this purpose, tapered NCT-301 Graphite/Epoxy specimens were manufactured using a ply in-fill technique for the cured consolidation and tested under quasi-static uniaxial tension. To perform strength and delamination analyses of the tapered laminate, the laminate was modeled as a generalized plane deformation problem, where all the variables involved in the model are independent of the coordinate system. Also quasi-three dimensional partial hybrid finite elements were used to quantify the analysis. In addition to the plies, the inter-ply resin at the critical ply interface was also modeled in order to have direct and realistic interlaminar responses. Stress-based criteria that have proved to be effective in determination of critical location and load of delamination onset were utilized in this study to predict the delamination strength of the laminate. A good correlation between the predictions and experimental results were observed. Evaluation of strain energy release rates of delaminations occurring at the critical interfaces of the tapered laminate was carried out by using the J -integral approach. This was possible because of the path-independence of the J -integral that results in avoiding the need for analyzing the singular stress field near the delamination tip and reducing the computing effort required. Effects of various design parameters on the structural performance of the tapered laminate were studied so as to gain an insight into design considerations for tapered composite structures.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science > Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:He, Kan
Pagination:xiii, 247 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Date:2002
Thesis Supervisor(s):Hoa, Suong Van
ID Code:1620
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:20
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:21
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