Impact modeling of composite aircraft structure

Composite structures are vulnerable to impact damage, and have to satisfy certification procedures for high velocity impact from bird strike and foreign object damage. Since performing full scale impact tests is highly expensive and thus impractical, the development of validated analytical tools for the prediction of the structural response is essential for the industry to reduce development costs and to speed up the development process. Today, the capabilities for modeling the initial and progressive failure of composite materials has not been thoroughly evaluated or validated for commercial finite elements codes. Thus, accurate modeling of the impact response and failure of composite airframe structures subjected to impact and crash conditions still remains a challenging problem. Despite of the existence of a large body of literature on progressive damage analysis in composites, our understanding of the fundamental failure mechanisms and behaviour of composites is not yet complete. This largely stems from the complex multiscale and interactive nature of damage in composites.

Faculty Supervisor: 
DR. Augustin Gakwaya