Structural Characterization of Advanced Composite Tow-Steered Shells with Large Cutouts

K Chauncey Wu, Jason D. Turpin, Nathaniel W. Gardner, Bret Stanford, Robert A. Martin
2015 56th AIAA/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference   unpublished
23681 The structural performance of two advanced composite tow-steered shells with large cutouts, manufactured using an automated fiber placement system, is assessed using both experimental and analytical methods. The fiber orientation angles of the shells vary continuously around their circumference from ±10 degrees on the crown and keel, to ±45 degrees on the sides. The raised surface features on one shell result from application of all 24 tows during each fiber placement system pass, while
more » ... ystem pass, while the second shell uses the tow drop/add capability of the system to achieve a more uniform wall thickness. These unstiffened shells, both without and with small cutouts, were previously tested in axial compression and buckled elastically. In this study, a single unreinforced cutout, scaled to represent a cargo door on a commercial aircraft, is machined into one side of each shell. The prebuckling axial stiffnesses and bifurcation buckling loads of these shells with large cutouts are also computed using linear finite element structural analyses for preliminary comparisons with test data. During testing, large displacements are observed around the large cutouts, but the shells maintain an average of 91 percent of the axial stiffness, and also carry 85 percent of the buckling loads, when compared to the pristine shells without cutouts. These relatively small reductions indicate that there is great potential for using tow steering to mitigate the adverse effects of large cutouts on the overall structural performance.
doi:10.2514/6.2015-0966 fatcat:6z7g2ym665d7bij4e2nrj4lnyy