Thermomechanical Response of Variable Stiffness Composite Panels

Mostafa Abdalla, Zafer Gurdal, Gasser Abdelal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Analysis of non-traditional Variable Stiffness (VS) laminates, obtained by steering the fiber orientation as a spatial function of location, have shown to improve buckling load carrying capacity of flat rectangular panels under axial compressive loads. In some cases the buckling load of simply supported panels doubled compared to the best conventional laminate with straight fibers. Two distinct cases of stiffness variation, one due to fiber orientation variation in the direction of the loading, and the other one perpendicular to the loading direction, were identified as possible contributors to the buckling load improvements. In the first case, the increase was attributed to the favorable distribution of the transverse in-plane stresses over the panel platform. In the second case, a higher degree of improvement was obtained due to the re-distribution of the applied in-plane loads. Experimental results, however, showed substantially higher levels of buckling load improvements compared with theoretical predictions. The additional improvement was determined to be due to residual stresses introduced during curing of the laminates. The present paper provides a simplified thermomechanical analysis of residual stress state of variable stiffness laminates. Systematic parametric analyses of both cases of fiber orientation variations show that, indeed much higher buckling loads could result from the residual stresses present in such laminates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-208
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Thermal Stresses
Issue number1-2
Early online date22 Dec 2008
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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