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The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Malaysia

Research project: Integrated experimental and computational characterisation of advanced composite materials Subjected to Multiaxial Loading (on-going)

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Fibre-reinforced polymer composites are widely used for aero, marine and energy structure applications due to their high stiffness and strength.  A significant effort has been invested internationally to assess the capabilities and accuracy of composite failure theories through the World Wide Failure Exercises (WWFEs). The results show that current theories have significant deficiencies in their ability to predict failure under complex multi-axial loading.

The project aims to define a new methodology for defining the failure envelope of composites. A novel approach is proposed which allows any combination of tensile/compression and shear loading to be achieved using a single test rig (the modified Arcan fixture) to study complex loading states and failure modes. Acquisition of reliable test data will allow full development of failure envelopes at both lamina and laminate levels not possible with the current testing methods, which will then be used to inform finite element models for failure prediction.

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