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Buckling and Fracture Analysis of Composite Skin/Stringer Panel Using VCCT

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The use of composite materials in the aerospace industry is increasing. Composite materials offer a relatively high strength-to-weight ratio as well as the ability to create large, integrated structures. One composite component can replace 10 or more traditional metal parts, which can dramatically reduce manufacturing time and cost.
The Boeing 787 will be the first airliner to use composite materials in the majority of the aircraft construction. Analysis tools that can accurately simulate the behavior of composite materials are critical to the successful design and use of composite structures. Through the Composites Affordability Initiative (CAI), Boeing developed a finite ele-ment implementation of the Virtual Crack Closure Tech-nique (VCCT). Dassault Systèmes SIMULIA Corp. teamed with Boeing to provide this technology as a fea-ture of Abaqus/Standard. This capability allows for the simulation of brittle interfacial crack propagation due to delamination/debonding.
This technology brief examines the behavior of a stringer-stiffened composite panel subjected to in-plane shear loading. The Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Composite Structures (CRC-ACS) experimentally tested single stiffener panels with a defect introduced in a portion of the bond between the skin and the stringer. Using the VCCT fracture analysis capability, the panel test is simulated and the results are compared to experi-mental data.

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