Fully coupled three-dimensional transient thermoelasticity analysis of fiber-reinforced laminate composite materials

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


Further development of the modern aeronautical and aerospace industries will require increased use of composite materials. It is predicted that the influence of composite materials on the aerospace industry will be revolutionary. Composite materials have many good qualities; however, due to the heterogeneity of their thermal and mechanical properties, they are particularly susceptible to the influences of their thermal environment during manufacture and in certain applications. Therefore, it is essential to be able to perform thorough thermoelasticity analyses of these kinds of materials before they can be considered for certain applications where they will be exposed to high temperatures or steep temperature gradients or thermal shock. Up to now, no results for the transient three-dimensional analysis of the thermoelastic response of fiber-reinforced composite materials, which include the mechanical coupling during a thermal shock, have been reported in the open literature; yet there are a number of practical applications where it might be important to know the thermal-mechanical coupling effects. This thesis serves as a first step toward developing a comprehensive model for the transient thermoelastic behavior of fiber-reinforced composite materials which includes full coupling between the thermal and mechanical processes.