An engineering approach to analyze damage initiation modes in tapered composite structures
Rao, Prabhakar M.; Palliyaguru, Upul R.; Gurvish, Mark R.; Seneviratne, Waruna P. 2018. An engineering approach to analyze damage initiation modes in tapered composite structures. 33rd Technical Conference of the American Society for Composites 2018, vol. 4:pp 2403-2418
In this work an engineering approach is demonstrated for analyzing damage initiation modes in tapered composite structures. The analysis methodology includes simulation of the non-linear static response of tapered composite structures under static tension loads to predict the location of interfacial delamination initiation. Furthermore, the developed methodology provides a strength-based criterion to assess whether damage initiation will occur in the inter-laminar delamination or intra-laminar matrix cracking mode. Based on the results of the analysis, a tapered composite structure is fabricated and tested under displacement-controlled quasi-static tension loading. The damage initiation location captured experimentally is compared with the analysis towards achieving preliminary qualitative validation. The linear stiffness of the tapered composite structure is predicted within 15% of the experimental average thereby achieving preliminary quantitative validation.