Technical Services

Advanced Materials
Aerospace - Integrated Aircraft Technologies

Aerospace - Integrated Aircraft Technologies


Modelling of Buckling and Collapse in Composite Panels.

At present composites are prevalent in secondary structure of commercial aircraft but are now poised to have a much more dominant role with both Airbus (A350 XWB) and Boeing (787).  As a percentage of structural weight, military aircraft use approximately double the amount of composites used in the most progressive commercial aircraft.  The civil aircraft industry is extremely wary of new materials and the risk associated with their employment and design allowables are very tight in compression.  Composites fail differently to metallic materials, and at present failure mechanisms and damage modes are not fully understood.  There is no acceptable analytical solution to the problem, and only the most experienced engineers are likely to understand a composite structure undergoing failure.  However, as manufacturing costs are dropping as new technologies are being employed and widespread usage continues to grow.

Area(s) of Expertise

Modelling failure mechanisms in composites under compressive loading where buckling is allowed and modelled the progression of damage as the panel underwent buckling deformations.

Progression of damage in a quasi isotropic layup as the panel buckles.

Plot of buckling load along side material failure loads for panels of different thickness, in this case for an aspect ratio of 3:1


Queen's University Belfast

Key word(s)

Aircraft. Composites Structures. Failure

Project Funding

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