Large deformation behavior of long shallow cylindrical composite panels

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


An exact solution is presented for the large deformation response of a simply supported orthotropic cylindrical panel subjected to a uniform line load along a cylinder generator. The cross section of the cylinder is circular and deformations up to the fully snapped through position are investigated. The orthotropic axes are parallel to the generator and circumferential directions. The governing equations are ·derived using laminated plate theory, nonlinear strain-displacement relations, and applying variational principles. The response is investigated for the case of a panel loaded exactly at midspan and for a panel with the load offset from midspan. The mathematical formulation is one-dimensional in the circumferential coordinate. Solutions are obtained in closed-form. An experimental apparatus was designed to load the panels. Experimental results of displacement controlled tests performed on graphite-epoxy curved panels are compared with analytic predictions.

This study demonstrates that panel shallowness, material orthotropy, and stacking sequence can influence the nonlinear static response. Initial geometric imperfections, observed during testing, were found to influence the response of the panels. However, the overall correlation of analytic and experimental results were good.