Impact Response and Failure of a Textile Composite Fuselage Frame
Impact tests are performed on two circular circumferential frame segments using a drop tower apparatus. These frames have a nominal radius of 120 inches, a forty-eight - degree included angle, a thin-walled cross section in the shape of the letter J, and are typical of the transverse fuselage frames found in a large transport aircraft. The material is a 2D triaxial braided composite of carbon fiber yarns. Impact speeds of the 91.6 lb drop mass are 23.7 ft/s or less. This speed range is the order of the vertical speed considered in a survivable crash on a runway. Transient response characteristics and failure sequence are compared to nominally identical frames tested quasi-statically in a previous study. The peak load at the first major failure event and the corresponding displacement are larger in impact tests than in the quasi-static tests. However, the fracture sequence in the vicinity of the impact location is similar to what was observed in the static tests. Preliminary transient simulations of the frame impact tests using the LSDyna software were also performed. Using the available composite material failure criteria in the software, reasonable correlation was achieved between the simulation and the tests on the load-displacement plot. The computed strains distributions did not compare as well to the measured strains at the first major failure event.