Applied Composite Materials (v.25, #2)

Applied Integrated Design in Composite UAV Development by Zoran Vasić; Stevan Maksimović; Dragutin Georgijević (221-236).
This paper presents a modern approach to integrated development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle made of laminated composite materials from conceptual design, through detail design, strength and stiffness analyses, definition and management of design and production data, detailed tests results and other activities related to development of laminated composite structures with main of its particularities in comparison to metal structures. Special attention in this work is focused to management processes of product data during life cycle of an UAV and experimental tests of its composite wing. Experience shows that the automation management processes of product data during life cycle, as well as processes of manufacturing, are inevitable if a company wants to get cheaper and quality composite aircraft structures. One of the most effective ways of successful management of product data today is Product Life cycle Management (PLM). In terms of the PLM, a spectrum of special measures and provisions has to be implemented when defining fiber-reinforced composite material structures in comparison to designing with metals which is elaborated in the paper.
Keywords: Laminated composite structures; Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV); Design and development; Product lifecycle management (PLM); Computer aided design (CAD)

Simulation of Mechanical Behavior and Damage of a Large Composite Wind Turbine Blade under Critical Loads by M. Tarfaoui; M. Nachtane; H. Khadimallah; D. Saifaoui (237-254).
Issues such as energy generation/transmission and greenhouse gas emissions are the two energy problems we face today. In this context, renewable energy sources are a necessary part of the solution essentially winds power, which is one of the most profitable sources of competition with new fossil energy facilities. This paper present the simulation of mechanical behavior and damage of a 48 m composite wind turbine blade under critical wind loads. The finite element analysis was performed by using ABAQUS code to predict the most critical damage behavior and to apprehend and obtain knowledge of the complex structural behavior of wind turbine blades. The approach developed based on the nonlinear FE analysis using mean values for the material properties and the failure criteria of Tsai-Hill to predict failure modes in large structures and to identify the sensitive zones.
Keywords: Composite wind turbine blade; Finite element analysis; Mechanical behavior

Investigation into the Fiber Orientation Effect on the Formability of GLARE Materials in the Stamp Forming Process by Shichen Liu; Lihui Lang; Ehsan Sherkatghanad; Yao Wang; Wencai Xu (255-267).
Glass-reinforced aluminum laminate (GLARE) is a new class of fiber metal laminates (FMLs) which has the advantages such as high tensile strength, outstanding fatigue, impact resistance, and excellent corrosion properties. GLARE has been extensively applied in advanced aerospace and automobile industries. However, the deformation behavior of the glass fiber during forming must be studied to the benefits of the good-quality part we form. In this research, we focus on the effect of fiber layer orientation on the GLARE laminate formability in stamp forming process. Experimental and numerical analysis of stamping a hemisphere part in different fiber orientation is investigated. The results indicate that unidirectional and multi-directional fiber in the middle layer make a significant effect on the thinning and also surface forming quality of the three layer sheet. Furthermore, the stress-strain distribution of the aluminum alloy and the unique anisotropic property of the fiber layer exhibit that fiber layer orientation can also affect the forming depths as well as the fracture modes of the laminate. According to the obtained results, it is revealed that multi-directional fiber layers are a good alternative compared to the unidirectional fibers especially when a better formability is the purpose.
Keywords: Fiber layer orientation; GLARE; Fiber-metal laminates (FMLs); Wall thickness; Stress distribution; Forming depths

This paper investigates experimentally and numerically the response of a smart hybrid thermoplastic aircraft slat system subjected to a short-duration and high-frequency event like a birdstrike. The focus of the paper is to exploit the ability that superelastic shape memory alloys have to absorb and dissipate energy compared to conventional composite structures. The final objective of the work is to develop an innovative thermoplastic wing leading edge slat able to resist to an impact of 4-lb (1.8 kg) bird at speed of 350 kts (132 m/s), as requested by the aeronautical requirements. Aircraft leading edges must be certified for a proven level of bird impact resistance. In particular, the main structural requirement is to protect the torsion box and control devices from any significant damage caused by birdstrike in order to allow the aircraft to land safely. A clear increase of the composites toughness and higher absorbed energy levels before failure were also observed. This is due to the fact that SMA wires can absorb kinetic energy during the impact due to their remarkably large failure and recoverable strain and to their superelastic and hysteretic behaviour. The activities have been performed within the European Project COALESCE “Cost Efficient Advanced Leading Edge Structure”, funded by the Seventh Framework Program Theme 7 Transport (incl. Aeronautics).
Keywords: Bird impact; Aeronautical slat structure; Thermoplastic material; Shape Memory Alloy; Composite structures

Basalt fibres offer potential for use in marine structures, but few data exist to evaluate the influence of seawater immersion on their mechanical behaviour. This paper provides the results from a study in which basalt fibre reinforced epoxy composites were aged in natural seawater at different temperatures. Tests were performed under quasi-static and cyclic loading, first in the as-received state then after saturation in natural seawater. Results are compared to those for an E-glass reinforced composite with the same epoxy matrix. They indicate similar mechanical performance for both materials after seawater saturation.
Keywords: Seawater; Aging; Fatigue; Basalt fibre; Epoxy; Unidirectional; Flexure

In this work, polymer laminated composites based on Epon 862 Epoxy resin, T300 6 k carbon fibers and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were tested with the aim to elucidate the effect of CNTs on impact properties including impact force and capacity to absorb impact energy. The polymer matrix was reinforced by a random distribution of CNTs with fraction ranging from 0.5 to 4.wt%. Composite panels were manufactured by using the infusion process. Taylor impact test was used to obtain the impact response of specimens. Projectile manufactured from a high strength and hardened steel with a diameter of 20 mm and 1.5 kg of mass was launched by a compressed gas gun within the velocity of 3 m/s. Impact force histories and absorbed energy of specimens were recorded. A numerical model was employed to simulate the impact performance. This model has been accomplished by forming a user established subroutine (VUMAT) and executing it in ABAQUS software. Finally, the effect of CNTs amount on dynamic properties of laminated composites was discussed.
Keywords: Carbon nanotubes; Polymer composite materials; Low-velocity impact; Dynamic properties; Numerical modelling; Damage modelling; VUMAT

In nowadays, repair method using fiber reinforced composites as the mainstream pipe repair technology, it can provide security for X100 high-grade steel energy long-distance pipelines in engineering. In this paper, analysis of cracked X100 high-grade steel pipe was conducted, simulation analysis was made on structure of pipes and crack arresters (CAs) to obtain the J-integral value in virtue of ANSYS Workbench finite element software and evaluation on crack arrest effects was done through measured elastic-plastic fracture mechanics parameter J-integral and the crack arrest coefficient K, in a bid to summarize effect laws of composite CAs and size of pipes and cracks for repairing CAs. The results indicate that the K value is correlated with laying angle λ, laying length L2/D1, laying thickness T1/T2of CAs, crack depth c/T1 and crack length a/c, and calculate recommended parameters for repairing fiber reinforced composite CAs in terms of two different crack forms.
Keywords: Pipeline repair; Semi-elliptical surface crack; Composite materials; ANSYS; J-integral

Based on continuum damage mechanics (CDM), a sophisticated 3D meso-scale finite element (FE) model is proposed to characterize the progressive damage behavior of 2D Triaxial Braided Composites (2DTBC) with 60° braiding angle under quasi-static tensile load. The modified Von Mises strength criterion and 3D Hashin failure criterion are used to predict the damage initiation of the pure matrix and fiber tows. A combining interface damage and friction constitutive model is applied to predict the interface damage behavior. Murakami-Ohno stiffness degradation scheme is employed to predict the damage evolution process of each constituent. Coupling with the ordinary and translational symmetry boundary conditions, the tensile elastic response including tensile strength and failure strain of 2DTBC are in good agreement with the available experiment data. The numerical results show that the main failure modes of the composites under axial tensile load are pure matrix cracking, fiber and matrix tension failure in bias fiber tows, matrix tension failure in axial fiber tows and interface debonding; the main failure modes of the composites subjected to transverse tensile load are free-edge effect, matrix tension failure in bias fiber tows and interface debonding.
Keywords: Progressive damage; Textile composites; Failure criterion; Interface debonding; Free-edge effect

The Degradation Behavior of SiCf/SiO2 Composites in High-Temperature Environment by Xiang Yang; Feng Cao; Wang Qing; Zhi-hang Peng; Yi Wang (353-364).
SiCf/SiO2 composites had been fabricated efficiently by Sol-Gel method. The oxidation behavior, thermal shock property and ablation behavior of SiCf/SiO2 composites was investigated. SiCf/SiO2 composites showed higher oxidation resistance in oxidation atmosphere, the flexural strength retention ratio was larger than 90.00%. After 1300 °C thermal shock, the mass retention ratio was 97.00%, and the flexural strength retention ratio was 92.60%, while after 1500 °C thermal shock, the mass retention ratio was 95.37%, and the flexural strength retention ratio was 83.34%. After 15 s ablation, the mass loss rate was 0.049 g/s and recession loss rate was 0.067 mm/s. The SiO2 matrix was melted in priority and becomes loosen and porous. With the ablation going on, the oxides were washed away by the shearing action of the oxyacetylene flame. The evaporation of SiO2 took away large amount of heat, which is also beneficial to the protection for SiCf/SiO2 composites.
Keywords: SiCf/SiO2 ; Microstructural; Mechanical property; Oxidation; Thermal shock; Ablation

This paper presents the numerical study of the mode I and mode II interlaminar crack growth arrest in hybrid laminated curved composite stiffened joint with Z-fibre reinforcement. A FE model of hybrid laminated skin-stiffener joint reinforced with Z-pins is developed to investigate the effect of Z- fibre pins on mode I and mode II crack growth where the delamination is embedded inbetween the skin and stiffener interface. A finite element model was developed using S4R element of a 4-node doubly curved thick shell elements to model the composite laminates and non linear interface elements to simulate the reinforcements. The numerical analyses revealed that Z-fibre pinning were effective in suppressing the delamination growth when propagated due to applied loads. Therefore, the Z-fibre technique effectively improves the crack growth resistance and hence arrests or delays crack growth extension.
Keywords: Mode-I delamination; Mode-II delamination; Mode-III delamination; VCCT; SERR; Bridging mechanics; Z-fiber pins

Determination of Fracture Parameters for Multiple Cracks of Laminated Composite Finite Plate by Amit Kumar Srivastava; P. K. Arora; Sharad Chandra Srivastava; Harish Kumar; M. K. Lohumi (381-398).
A predictive method for estimation of stress state at zone of crack tip and assessment of remaining component lifetime depend on the stress intensity factor (SIF). This paper discusses the numerical approach for prediction of first ply failure load (FL), progressive failure load, SIF and critical SIF for multiple cracks configurations of laminated composite finite plate using finite element method (FEM). The Hashin and Chang failure criterion are incorporated in ABAQUS using subroutine approach user defined field variables (USDFLD) for prediction of progressive fracture response of laminated composite finite plate, which is not directly available in the software. A tensile experiment on laminated composite finite plate with stress concentration is performed to validate the numerically predicted subroutine results, shows excellent agreement. The typical results are presented to examine effect of changing the crack tip distance (S), crack offset distance (H), and stacking fiber angle (θ) on FL, and SIF .
Keywords: Stress intensity factor; Finite element analysis; Offset-crack; Progressive fracture parameters

Geometrical analysis of woven fabric microstructure based on micron-resolution computed tomography data by Helga Krieger; Gunnar Seide; Thomas Gries; Scott E. Stapleton (399-413).
The global mechanical properties of textiles such as elasticity and strength, as well as transport properties such as permeability depend strongly on the microstructure of the textile. Textiles are heterogeneous structures with highly anisotropic material properties, including local fiber orientation and local fiber volume fraction. In this paper, an algorithm is presented to generate a virtual 3D–model of a woven fabric architecture with information about the local fiber orientation and the local fiber volume fraction. The geometric data of the woven fabric impregnated with resin was obtained by micron-resolution computed tomography (μCT). The volumetric μCT-scan was discretized into cells and the microstructure of each cell was analyzed and homogenized. Furthermore, the discretized data was used to calculate the local permeability tensors of each cell. An example application of the analyzed data is the simulation of the resin flow through a woven fabric based on the determined local permeability tensors and on Darcy’s law. The presented algorithm is an automated and robust method of going from μCT-scans to structural or flow models.
Keywords: Resin transfer molding (RTM); Fabrics/ textiles; Resin flow; Permeability

Mechanical Properties and Thermal Shock Resistance Analysis of BNNT/Si3N4 Composites by Shouren Wang; Gaoqi Wang; Daosheng Wen; Xuefeng Yang; Liying Yang; Peiquan Guo (415-423).
BNNT/Si3N4 ceramic composites with different weight amount of BNNT fabricated by hot isostatic pressing were introduced. The mechanical properties and thermal shock resistance of the composites were investigated. The results showed that BNNT-added ceramic composites have a finer and more uniform microstructure than that of BNNT-free Si3N4 ceramic because of the retarding effect of BNNT on Si3N4 grain growth. The addition of 1.5 wt.% BNNT results in simultaneous increase in flexural strength, fracture toughness, and thermal shock resistance. The analysis of the results indicates that BNNT brings many thermal transport channels in the microstructure, increasing the efficiency of thermal transport, therefore results in increase of thermal shock resistance. In addition, BNNT improves the residual flexural strength of composites by crack deflection, bridging, branching and pinning, which increase the crack propagation resistance.
Keywords: Microstructure; BNNT; Si3N4 ; Mechanical property; Thermal shock resistance

A Numerical/Experimental Study on the Impact and CAI Behaviour of Glass Reinforced Compsite Plates by Giovanni Perillo; Jens K. Jørgensen; Roberta Cristiano; Aniello Riccio (425-447).
This paper focuses on the development of an advance numerical model specifically for simulating low velocity impact events and related stiffness reduction on composite structures. The model is suitable for low cost thick composite structures like wind turbine blade and maritime vessels. The model consist of a combination of inter and intra laminar models. The intra-laminar model present a combination of Puck and Hashin failure theories for the evaluation of the fibre and matrix failure. The inter-laminar damage is instead simulated by Cohesive Zone Method based on energy approach. Basic material properties, easily measurable according to standardized tests, are required. The model has been used to simulate impact and compression after impact tests. Experimental tests have been carried out on thick E-Glass/Epoxy composite commonly used in the wind turbine industry. The clustering effect as well as the consequence of the impact energy have been experimentally tested. The accuracy of numerical model has been verified against experimental data showing a very good accuracy of the model.
Keywords: Composite; GFRP; Low velocity impact; CAI; Experimental; FEM

Buckling and Post-Buckling Behaviors of a Variable Stiffness Composite Laminated Wing Box Structure by Peiyan Wang; Xinting Huang; Zhongnan Wang; Xiaoliang Geng; Yuansheng Wang (449-467).
The buckling and post-buckling behaviors of variable stiffness composite laminates (VSCL) with curvilinear fibers were investigated and compared with constant stiffness composite laminates (CSCL) with straight fibers. A VSCL box structure was evaluated under a pure bending moment. The results of the comparative test showed that the critical buckling load of the VSCL box was approximately 3% higher than that of the CSCL box. However, the post-buckling load-bearing capacity was similar due to the layup angle and the immature status of the material processing technology. The properties of the VSCL and CSCL boxes under a pure bending moment were simulated using the Hashin criterion and cohesive interface elements. The simulation results are consistent with the experimental results in stiffness, critical buckling load and failure modes but not in post-buckling load capacity. The results of the experiment, the simulation and laminated plate theory show that VSCL greatly improves the critical buckling load but has little influence on the post-buckling load-bearing capacity.
Keywords: Variable stiffness composite laminates; Post-buckling capacity; Interfacial debonding; Classical laminated plate theory