Review of Damage Tolerant Analysis of Laminated Composites

Document Type: Research Paper


1 State Key Laboratory for Mechanical Structural Strength and Vibration, School of Aerospace, Xi’an Jiao Tong University

2 School of Aeronautics, Northwestern Polytechnical University

3 Faculty of Science and Engineering, Tokyo University of Science


With advanced composites increasing replacing traditional metallic materials, the material inhomogeneity and inherent anisotropy of such materials lead to not only new attributes for aerospace structures, but also introduce new technology to damage tolerant design and analysis. The deleterious effects of changes in material properties and initiation and growth of structural damage must be addressed. The anisotropic and brittle properties make this requirement a challenging to composite structural designers. Accurate, reliable and user-friendly computational methods, design and analysis methods are vital for more damage tolerant composite structures. Both durability and damage tolerant methodologies must address the possible changes in mechanical properties and the evolving damage accumulations that may occur during the vehicle’s service lifetime. Delamination is a major failure mode in laminated composites and has received much research attention. It may arise out of manufacturing defects, free edge effects, structural discontinuities, low and high velocity impact damage, and even bird strikes. Early pioneering work established that the reduction in strength following delamination damages placed severe limits on the design allowable for highly loaded components such as aircraft wing and fuselage structure. In the present article, we provide a state-of-art survey on damage tolerant design correlated failure behavior and analysis methodologies of laminated composites. Particular emphasis is placed on some advanced formulations and numerical approaches for efficient computational modeling and damage tolerant analysis of laminated composites.


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