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Computational Investigation of Energy Dissipation Through Progressive Failure in Tailored Composite Structures via Explicit Finite Element Analysis



A composite material tailoring concept for progressive failure under tensile loading has been previously developed, modeled, and experimentally validated by the second author and his collaborators. The concept relies upon a sequential failure process induced in a structure of series connection of parallel redundant load path elements of tailored length and strength. The resulting yield-type response under tensile loading is characterized by an increased energy dissipation compared to a reference conventional structural element of nominally identical length and crosssectional area, and of the same composite material. In this work, this composite tailoring concept is computationally investigated for IM7-8552 composite material using a dynamic, explicit finite element analysis in Abaqus. The approach offers the advantage of capturing the stress wave propagation within the model throughout the dynamic failure sequence, thereby providing a better understanding of the failure progression and the energy dissipation mechanisms at work. In this study, progressive failure of the tailored composite structure is modeled and analyzed for different configurations of lengths and widths. Model predictions are illustrated for and compared with selected tailoring configurations from the literature. Developing an explicit finite element approach for analyzing the tailoring concept opens the door to characterizing a wide variety of related, more complex configurations for which analytical solutions do not yet exist or may not even be feasible, and/or for which experimental results may be difficult or overly expensive to obtain.


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