Deformation Characteristics of Composite Structures

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of Systems Engineering, University of Lagos, NIGERIA

2 Bells University of Technology

Abstract

The composites provide design flexibility because many of them can be moulded into complex shapes. The carbon fibre-reinforced epoxy composites exhibit excellent fatigue tolerance and high specific strength and stiffness which have led to numerous advanced applications ranging from the military and civil aircraft structures to the consumer products. However, the modelling of the beams undergoing the arbitrarily large displacements and rotations, but small strains, is a common problem in the application of these engineering composite systems. This paper presents a nonlinear finite element model which is able to estimate the deformations of the fibre-reinforced epoxy composite beams. The governing equations are based on the Euler-Bernoulli beam theory (EBBT) with a von Kármán type of kinematic nonlinearity. The anisotropic elasticity is employed for the material model of the composite material. Moreover, the characterization of the mechanical properties of the composite material is achieved through a tensile test, while a simple laboratory experiment is used to validate the model. The results reveal that the composite fibre orientation, the type of applied load and boundary condition, affect the deformation characteristics of the composite structures. The nonlinearity is an important factor that should be taken into consideration in the analysis of the fibre-reinforced epoxy composites.

Keywords

Main Subjects

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