Login | Register

Effect of Thickness and Ply Orientation on the Flexural Bending Behaviour of Thick Composite Laminates


Effect of Thickness and Ply Orientation on the Flexural Bending Behaviour of Thick Composite Laminates

Fortin-Simpson, Jeffrey ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2190-4351 (2019) Effect of Thickness and Ply Orientation on the Flexural Bending Behaviour of Thick Composite Laminates. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

[thumbnail of Fortin-Simpson_MASc_F2019.pdf]
Text (application/pdf)
Fortin-Simpson_MASc_F2019.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Spectrum Terms of Access.


The growing trend of fibre reinforced composite laminates in highly loaded structural applications has created a need for better analytical tools to provide quick estimates of predicted laminate performance, faster computational tools for more detailed laminate analysis, and more experimental data for validation of higher order theories. The production of experimental data requires significant capital investment. As such, the majority of research being conducted is focused on developing higher order theories and reducing computational effort to be able to more accurately simulate composite laminates in various load cases. However, due to the lack of available experimental data, the theoretical research being conducted is most often validated against the 3D elasticity theory, which itself is very computationally intensive, albeit highly accurate. One example of a highly loaded composite structure with a thick cross-section is a helicopter’s main rotor yoke. Industry experience has determined that the thick section of such a laminate is the most critical, especially around the area of load introduction due to a bolted joint connection. This study aims to provide reliable experimental data against which a higher-order monodimensional beam theory is compared, and that can be used to validate other higher order theories. Rectangular laminates of 20, 40, 60, and 80 unidirectional layers along with 80 cross-ply layers are tested in quasi-static cantilever bending at 5 mm/min, where the fixed end of the laminate is clamped between steel plates and the loaded end is clamped between the cylindrical faces a cantilever loading fixture. Laminates of 80 unidirectional layers are also tested in cantilever bending where the loaded end is also clamped between steel plates to represent a bolted connection at both ends of the specimen. Digital image correlation and strain gauges were used to collect surface strain measurements which were used to validate a fully parametric ANSYS model that could predict failure based on Hashin failure criteria. The train data showed that digital image correlation is a valid technique for full-field surface strain measurement up to very high displacement and strain levels. The load-displacement data was compared to higher-order monodimensional beam theory calculations and showed the limitations of this theory as specimen thickness increased, as well as the accuracy it can provide for thinner laminates, even when including secondary bonded components such as buffer pads. A simplified method for using the monodimensional beam theory is presented for the quick calculation of the shear correction coefficient of a [0/90]Ωs laminate, where Ω can be any integer. The failure displacements of each specimen configuration are charted against laminate thickness to illustrate the size effect, which is the principle of decreasing component strength with increasing thickness, as it relates to composite plates in bending.

Divisions:Concordia University > Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science > Mechanical, Industrial and Aerospace Engineering
Concordia University > Research Units > Concordia Centre for Composites
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Fortin-Simpson, Jeffrey
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A. Sc.
Program:Mechanical Engineering
Date:25 June 2019
Thesis Supervisor(s):Hoa, Suong Van and Xie, Wen-Fang
ID Code:985602
Deposited By: Mr. Jeffrey Fortin-Simpson
Deposited On:13 Nov 2019 20:57
Last Modified:13 Nov 2019 20:57


1. Hoa, S.V. "Principles of the Manufacturing of Composite Materials." Lancaster, USA: DEStech Publications Inc., 2009. p. 174-175. ISBN: 978-1-932078-26-8.
2. Stringer, L.G. "Optimization of the wet lay-up/vacuum bag process for the fabrication of carbon fibre epoxy composites with high fibre fraction and low void content." Composites, 1989. 20(5): p. 441-452. https://doi.org/10.1016/0010-4361(89)90213-9.
3. Kardos, J.L., et al. "Void formation and transport during composite laminate processing: an initial model framework." ASTM Special Technical Publication, 1983. 797: p. 96-109.
4. Koushyar, H., et al. "Effects of variation in autoclave pressure, temperature, and vacuum-application time on porosity and mechanical properties of a carbon fiber/epoxy composite." Journal of Composite Materials, 2012. 46(16): p. 1985-2004. https://doi.org/10.1177/0021998311429618.
5. Bogetti, T.A. and Gillespie, J.W. "Two-dimensional cure simulation of thick thermosetting composites." Journal of Composite Materials, 1991 25(3): p. 239-273. https://doi.org/10.1177/002199839102500302.
6. Young, W. "Compacting pressure and cure cycle for processing of thick composite laminates." Composites Science and Technology, 1995. 53(3): p. 299-306. https://doi.org/10.1016/0266-3538(95)00067-4.
7. Xin, C., et al. "Online monitoring and analysis of resin pressure inside composite laminate during zero-bleeding autoclave process." Polymer Composites, 2011. 32(2): p. 314-323. DOI: 10.1002/pc.21048.
8. Hojjati, M. and Hoa, S.V. "Model laws for curing of thermosetting composites." Journal of Composite Materials, 1995. 29(13): p. 1741-1761. https://doi.org/10.1177/002199839502901305.
9. Kim, J.S. and Lee, D.G. "Development of an autoclave cure cycle with cooling and reheating steps for thick thermoset composite laminates." Journal of Composite Materials, 1997. 31(22): p. 2264-2282. https://doi.org/10.1177/002199839703102203.
10. Oh, J.H. and Lee, D.G. "Cure Cycle for Thick Glass/Epoxy Composite Laminates." Journal of Composite Materials, 2002. 36.1: p. 19-45. https://doi.org/10.1177/0021998302036001300.
11. Olivier, P. and Cavarero, M. "Comparison between longitudinal tensile characteristics of thin and thick thermoset composite laminates: influence of curing conditions." Computers and Structures, 2000. 76(1-3): p. 125-137. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0045-7949(99)00161-3.
12. Rai, N. and Pitchumani, R. "Rapid cure simulation using artificial neural networks." Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 1997. 28(9-10): p. 847-859. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1359-835X(97)00046-8.
13. Zhang, Z. and Friedrich, K. "Artificial neural networks applied to polymer composites: a review." Composites Science and Technology, 2003. 63(14): p. 2029-2044. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0266-3538(03)00106-4.
14. Bheemreddy, V., et al. "Process modeling of cavity molded composite flex beams." Finite Element in Analysis and Design, 2014. 78: p. 8-15. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.finel.2013.09.003.
15. Bheemreddy, V., et al. "Process optimization of composite flex beams using neural networks." SAMPE 2013 Conference and Exhibition: Education and Green Sky - Materials Technology for a Better World. Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering, 2013. p. 2447-2461. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267632820_Process_Optimization_of_Composite_Flex_Beams_using_Neural_Networks.
16. Ruiz, E. and Trochu, F. "Numerical analysis of cure temperature and internal stresses in thin and thick RTM parts." Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 2005. 36(6) (2005): 806-826. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compositesa.2004.10.021.
17. Mamani, S. and Hoa, S.V. "Temperature measurement in autoclave manufacturing process for thick glass/epoxy composite laminate." Proceedings of International Workshop on Mechanical Behavior of Thick Composites. Montreal, Canada: DEStech Publications Inc., 2016.
18. Reddy, J.N. and Chao, W.C. "Non-linear bending of thick rectangular, laminated composite plates." International Journal of Non-Linear Mechanics, 1981. 16(3-4): p. 291-301. https://doi.org/10.1016/0020-7462(81)90042-1.
19. Kapania, R.K. and Raciti, S. "Recent Advances in Analysis of Laminated Beams and Plates, Part I: Shear Effects and Buckling." AIAA Journal, 1989. 27(7): p. 923-934. DOI: 10.2514/3.10202.
20. Kant, T. and Swaminathan, K. "Estimation of Transverse/Interlaminar Stresses in Laminated Composites - A Selective Review and Survey of Current Developments." Composite Structures, 2000. 49(1): p. 65-75. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0263-8223(99)00126-9.
21. Mittelstedt, C. and Wilfried, B. "Interlaminar Stress Concentrations in Layered Structures: Part I - A Selective Literature Survey on the Free-Edge Effect since 1967." Journal of Composite Materials, 2004. 38(12): p. 1037-1062. https://doi.org/10.1177/0021998304040566.
22. Plagianakos, T.S and Saravanos, D.A. "Higher-order layerwise laminate theory for the prediction of interlaminar shear stresses in thick composite and sandwich composite plates." Composite Structures, 2009. 87(1): p. 23-35. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compstruct.2007.12.002.
23. Whitney, J.M. and Pagano, N.J. "Shear deformation in heterogeneous anisotropic plates." Journal of Applied Mechanics, 1970. 37(4): p. 1031-1036. DOI: 10.1115/1.3408654.
24. Lalonde, S. Investigation into the Static and Fatigue Behaviour of A Helicopter Main Rotor Yoke Made of Composite Materials. Master Thesis. McGill University. Montreal, Canada, 2000. http://digitool.Library.McGill.CA:80/R/-?func=dbin-jump-full&object_id=30256&silo_library=GEN01.
25. Xiong, W. Manufacturing and Fatigue Behaviour of Thick Glass/Epoxy Composite Beams. Master Thesis. Concordia University. Montreal, Canada, 2016. https://spectrum.library.concordia.ca/981394/1/Xiong_MSc_F2016.pdf.
26. Zweben, C. "Designer's corner: Is there a size effect in composites?" Composites, 1994. 25(6): p. 451-454. https://doi.org/10.1016/0010-4361(94)90102-3.
27. Sutherland, L.S., Shenoi, R.A., and Lewis, S.M. "Size and scale effects in composites: I. Literature review." Composites Science and Technology, 1999. 59(2): p. 209-220. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0266-3538(98)00065-7.
28. Wisnom, M.R. "Size effects in the testing of fibre-composite materials." Composites Science and Technology, 1999. 59(13): p. 1937-1957. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0266-3538(99)00053-6.
29. Reddy, J.N. Mechanics of Laminated Composite Plates and Shells Theory and Analysis. Second Edition. Boca Raton: CRC Press LLC, 2004. ISBN: 0-8493-1592-1.
30. Gay, D., Hoa, S.V. and Tsai, S.W. Composite Materials Design and Applications. Boca Raton: CRC Press LLC, 2003. ISBN: 1-58716-084-6.
31. Lim, T.S., Kim, B.C., and Lee, D.G. "Fatigue characteristics of the bolted joints for unidirectional composite laminates." Composite Structures, 2006. 72(1): p. 58-68. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compstruct.2004.10.013.
32. Kashaba, U.A., et al. "Effect of washer size and tightening torque on the performance of bolted joints in composite structures." Composite Structures, 2006. 73(3): 310-317. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compstruct.2005.02.004.
33. Gorjipoor, A., et al. "Stress Analysis of a Thick Composite Laminate With a Bolted Joint." Proceedings of the Tenth Joint Canada-Japan Workshop of Design, Manufacturing and Applications of Composites. Vancouver, Canada: DEStech Publications Inc., 2015.
34. ASTM Standard D2584-11." Standard Test Method for Ignition Loss of Cured Reinforced Resins. ASTM International, 2000.
35. ASTM Standard D2734-09." Standard Test Methods for Void Content of Reinforced Plastics. ASTM International, 2009.
36. Sartorius. User Manual. Density Determination Kit. Available at www.sartorius.com.
37. Heer, C.S. Flexural Test Setup. Master of Engineering Report. Concordia University. Montreal, Canada, 2013.
38. Gorjipoor, A., Hoa, S.V., and Ganesan, R. "Numerical model for investigation of the strain distribution in thick composite plates subjected to bolt loads." Aerospace Science and Technology, 2016. 59: 94-102. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ast.2016.10.008.
39. Gorjipoor, A., et al. "Computational and experimental strain analysis of flexural bending of thick glass/epoxy laminates." Composite Structures, 2017. 176(15): p. 526-538. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compstruct.2017.05.066.
40. Hamidi, H. "Material Characterization Results for Orthotropic Material Properties." Internal Project Document CRIAQ COMP-509. Concordia University, 2015.
41. "ANSYS Workbench 16.0 Material Library." ANSYS.
42. "CYCOM E773 Epoxy Prepreg Technical Data Sheet." CYTEC Solvay Group. http://www.cytec.com/sites/default/files/datasheets/CYCOM_E773_032112.pdf.
43. Industrial Laminate Specifications Glass-Based Phenolics NEMA G-3, G-5, G-7, G-9, G-10, G-11 Grades. Boedeker Plastics Inc. http://www.boedeker.com/ilamg_p.htm.
44. Speck, J.A. Mechanical Fastening, Joining, and Assembly. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2015. ISBN: 978-1-4822-7655-8.
All items in Spectrum are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved. The use of items is governed by Spectrum's terms of access.

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Downloads per month over past year

Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
- Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
Back to top Back to top