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Assessment of Composite Manufacturing Defects—Current Approaches and Future Challenges

CAIHUA CAO, ALLEN J. FAWCETT, MARK C. IDEN, ADAM J. SAWICKI

Abstract


Approaches used for assessing and dispositioning manufacturing discrepancies and defects in composite structures are discussed. An overview of methods is provided for commonly observed anomalies (porosity, wrinkles, delaminations and disbonds), and includes discussion of anomaly morphology, effects upon structural stiffness and strength, and the use of analytical and empirical methods for substantiating defect acceptance (and the limitations thereof). The effects of anomalies such as porosity and wrinkling are most often assessed through empirical testing, or through the use of semi-empirical methods which correlate lower-level lamina/laminate properties to higher level test results. Analytical methods such as the Virtual Crack Closure Technique (VCCT) have found use in finite element-based assessment of delaminations and disbonds, due to their ability to model discrete geometry and consider complex, combined load and deformation states.

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