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Progressive Failure Prediction of a Bonded Composite Component

C. Li, G. Li


Virtual numerical testing has been used increasingly in many industries for various designs and/or damage assessments required by life management processes. Aided by representative verification tests, the developed numerical models can effectively screen and assess specific testing tasks and results, which greatly reduce overall cost and also guide practical decision making. However, challenges remain in development of high-fidelity, riskbased damage and failure prediction approaches for fibre-reinforced composites due to the complex nature of damage evolution and process-dependent properties of composite structures. This work is one of the first steps towards development of virtual testing tools for composite failure prediction. A three-dimensional (3D) finite element model was developed using ABAQUS. Three-dimensional continuum shell elements integrated with the cohesive zone technique were employed to predict damage and failure of a bonded composite structure. This bonded structure consisted of a laminated skin and a stiffener. This work used a damage mechanics, fracture mechanic–based approach to study progressive failure behaviour of a bonded composite structure subjected to a tensile loading condition. Good correlation in static strength was obtained between the experimental and numerical results with less than 1% difference.


Virtual testing, Bonded composite section joint; Failure; Finite element; Static strengthText

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