The behaviour of damage tolerant hat-stiffened composite panels loaded in uniaxial compression

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39 Citations (Scopus)


Damage tolerant hat-stiffened thin-skinned composite panels with and without a centrally located circular cutout, under uniaxial compression loading, were investigated experimentally and analytically. These panels incorporated a highly postbuckling design characterised by two integral stiffeners separated by a large skin bay with a high width to skin-thickness ratio. In both configurations, the skin initially buckled into three half-wavelengths and underwent two mode-shape changes; the first a gradual mode change characterised by a central deformation with double curvature and the second a dynamic snap to five half-wavelengths. The use of standard path-following non-linear finite element analysis did not consistently capture the dynamic mode change and an approximate solution for the prediction of mode-changes using a Marguerre-type Rayleigh-Ritz energy method is presented. Shortcomings with both methods of analysis are discussed and improvements suggested. The panels failed catastrophically and their strength was limited by the local buckling strength of the hat stiffeners. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1255-1262
Number of pages8
JournalComposites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
Issue number9
Early online date30 Aug 2001
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites


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