Composite materials are finding increasing application, for example in commercial aircraft. Traditionally fiber angles are restricted to 0°,±45° and 90°. The current work exploits the possibility of using multiple ’non-conventional’ laminates where either fiber steering (‘variable stiffness’), ply drops (‘variable thickness’), or a combination of both is used. This leads to varying mechanical properties which means the load is being redistributed, increasing the overall buckling load. A flat panel of 400×600 mm loaded in uni-axial compression is optimized in the current work. As a benchmark a conventional laminate is used. The non-conventional laminates are 15% lighter to emphasize the possible weight savings. Only using variable stiffness or variable thickness is experimentally shown to not be sufficient to match the buckling load of the benchmark panel. However, using a combination of both, a 10% increase in the buckling load was found for a panel that is 15% lighter. This highlights the potential of non-conventional laminates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-40
Number of pages12
JournalComposite Structures
Volume210
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2019

    Research areas

  • Fibre placement, Fibre steering, Testing, Variable stiffness, Variable thickness

ID: 47578113