Characterizing the Mechanical Properties of Composite Materials Using Tubular Samples

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Virginia Tech


Application of composite materials to structures has presented the need for engineering analysis and modeling to understand the failure mechanisms. Unfortunately, composite materials, especially in a tubular geometry, present a situation where it is difficult to generate simple stress states that allow for the characterization of the ply-level properties. The present work focuses on calculating the mechanical characteristics, both on a global and local level, for composite laminate tubes. Global responses to axisymmetric test conditions (axial tension, torsion, and internal pressure) are measured on sections of the material. New analysis techniques are developed to use the global responses to calculate the ply level properties for tubular composite structures. Error analyses are performed to illustrate the sensitivity of the nonlinear regression methods to error in the experimental data. Ideal test matrices are proposed to provide the best data sets for improved accuracy of the property estimates. With these values, the stress and strain states can be calculated through the thickness of the material, enabling the application of failure criteria, and the calculation of failure envelopes.



mechanical properties, tubes, nonlinear regression, internal pressure, inversion