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Effect of Geometrical Imperfections on Structural Integrity of Laminated Composite Structures: Experimental Approach and Characterization

MARK GURVICH, PATRICK CLAVETTE, SEUNGBUM KIM, GEORGE ZAFIRIS, NAM PHAN, ANISUR RAHMAN

Abstract


An experimental approach is developed to mimic actual geometrical imperfections in composite samples with introduced but controlled idealized through-thickness waviness defined by different levels of their severity. The samples are then tested under typical representative load conditions to correlate the level of imperfections with measured metrics of structural integrity, such as damage initiation, damage growth, damage networking, etc. Generated test results are evaluated to make qualitative and quantitative conclusions regarding the effect of such imperfections. Demonstration of the approach is performed on examples of thick laminated composite beams under representative 3- and 5-point bending load conditions. Commercially available IM7/8552 carbon-fiber composites are considered as typical materials with four levels of imperfections. It is observed that, under bending conditions with dominant interlaminar failure mode, waviness can actually improve structural integrity due to additional resistance to interlaminar crack initiation and growth. In addition, the observed trends are explained by independent modeling predictions.


DOI
10.12783/asc33/26065

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