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Materials 2016, 9(7), 510; doi:10.3390/ma9070510

Experimental and Finite Element Investigations of Damage Resistance in Biomimetic Composite Sandwich T-Joints

1
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Dayton, 300 College Park, Dayton, OH 45469-0243, USA
2
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, University of Dayton, 300 College Park, Dayton, OH 45469-0243, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Frank Müller
Received: 30 April 2016 / Revised: 8 June 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 24 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired and Biomimetic Materials)

Abstract

Composite sandwich structural joints, such as T-joints, are used in many different composite applications to transfers the load orthogonally between two sandwich elements. However, these joints connecting the sections can represent the weakest link in sandwich composite structures due to the lack of reinforcement in the out-of-plane direction. Therefore, this paper presents a new methodology for the design and analysis of composite sandwich T-joints using new biomimetic fabrication methods. The fabricated idea comes from biological fixed joints as an evolutionary alteration processes of trunk-branches of trees. It offers unique attributes to optimize the continuous fiber paths for minimum stress concentrations and multi-sandwich layers to increase the bending stiffness and strength. The focus is on how the biomimetic technique can improve sandwich T-joint structures by increasing their strength and load carrying capability without adding a significant weight penalty. The major attention is to investigate the comprehensive failure modes in the joint numerically and verified by experiments. Investigations were conducted on three different designs of biomimetic composite sandwich T-joints under tension and bending loads. The results show significant improvements to the ultimate load up to 68% in the case of bending load and 40% in the case of pull-off load in the biomimetic sandwich T-joints compared to the reference conventional T-joint design. The final failure was significantly deferred in both load status. The FE models provided important insights into the core failure and delamination of multi-interface biomimetic T-joints. View Full-Text
Keywords: composite sandwich T-joints; biomimetic approach; multiple delamination; bending strength; cohesive zone method; fracture modes composite sandwich T-joints; biomimetic approach; multiple delamination; bending strength; cohesive zone method; fracture modes
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Saeid, A.A.; Donaldson, S.L. Experimental and Finite Element Investigations of Damage Resistance in Biomimetic Composite Sandwich T-Joints. Materials 2016, 9, 510.

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