Durability and Damage Tolerance
Durability and damage tolerance (D&DT) of composite structures is a very important
element of the overall design process. For airframe structures, durability and damage tolerance
provide guideline for setting up an inspection plan for each principal structural element so
damage (including micro-cracks) under service loading do not grow to failure prior to detection.
It is imperative to assess all stages of damage evolution in composite structures to determine
when, where, and why damage and fracture initiate and propagates. AlphaSTAR integrated D&DT
methods with damage tracking and fracture and finite element analysis to evaluate damage growth
in composite structures. It allows the analyst to include in the D&DT analysis manufacturing
defects depicting "as-is" state of the structure.
Provide stress engineers with robust methodology for determining all stages of damage
evolution in composite structures and answer critical design questions on why, where, and when
damage and fracture initiates and what can be done to fix it.
Use GENOA's multi-scale progressive failure analysis MS-PFA to determine all stages
of damage evolution under service loading. Physics based composite damage and failure mechanisms
are used by MS-PFA to interrogate the structural response. Matrix cracking under tension, compression,
shear, and fiber failure under tension and compression (including crushing, fiber-matrix debonding,
and fiber micro-buckling) are evaluated. Analyst has a choice of using fiber/matrix or ply properties
as input to the analysis. Commercial FEA stress solvers such as (NASTRAN, ABAQUS, ANSYS, and
others) are augmented for damage tracking and fracture with GENOA's MS-PFA.
D&DT is evaluated under all types of loading including static, dynamic (low/high velocity impact),
low/high cycle fatigue, and creep loading.
Relevant GENOA modules are MS-PFA: static, fatigue (low cycle/harmonic/ random/power
spectrum density, single and multi-stage), and impact (explicit low and high velocity).
Determine damage history/locations/modes under service loading.
Determine ultimate (failure) load
Evaluate and manage risk associated resulting from scatter and manufacturing defects (effect
of void variability on compression strength, shape of void, location of void, etc.)
Test guidance by obtaining a priori prediction to determine where to place instrumentation
Identify test anomalies
Aid in re-design of structural component
Develop an inspection plan
Support certification plans
Supports test reduction goals
D&DT of composite aircraft and automotive structures and bridges. Examples include
low and high velocity impact of aerospace and automotive structures, progressive failure analysis
of stiffened wing and fuselage panels, and wing structures. Technology was validated for every
step of the FAA building block approach (from coupon level to sub-element, element, and structural
D&DT Approach is Applicable to all Levels of FAA Building Block
D&DT of A Stiffened Wing Panel With Discrete Source Damage Under Tension
Ref: F. Rognin, H. Zhang and F. Abdi, K. Nikbin, "Robust Design of Composite Stiffened Panels
under Discrete Source Damage, a Combined Durability-Reliability Evaluation", 51th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC
Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference, Orlando, Florida, 12-15 April 2010.