Finite element based simulation of phased composite material for aircraft design

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Alegre, Adrian
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University of Alabama Libraries

Composite materials are frequently used in the aircraft and aerospace industries for cre ating lighter, stronger and cheaper materials. In short, a composite material is a material made up of two or more constituent materials that seek to exploit the most advantageous as pects of each material. The design and development process of composite materials has seen little change in recent years despite an increasing necessity. The current methodology for designing composites in the aircraft industry, described in Composite Materials Handbook [37], utilizes the ”Building-Block” approach. In this approach composites are extensively tested, with tests rising in number and complexity, as the size of the composite elements increases. This method is used due to the inability to predict composite behaviors and can lead to high cost and time inefficiency. This work presents an FEM based simulation of composite materials in order to circum vent large-scale testing by accurately predicting composite behavior. A common aircraft composite material, Al/SiC, was replicated and verified against empirical data from litera ture. Individual material simulations for Al and SiC were first developed and verified. Two subsequent analyses of the materials combined as a composite were performed in which the percent weight fraction of SiC was varied. These simulations include Al as the matrix and SiC as spherical inclusions. Analysis of stress-strain curves for the simulated composite ma terial demonstrated agreement with empirical data from the literature. This thesis outlines the processes of geometry development, geometry implementation, simulation set-up, and data analysis of the study.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Materials science, Mechanical engineering, Mechanics