Failure Prediction in a Laminated Composite Shell

Application ID: 65641

Laminated composite shells made of carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) are common in a large variety of applications due to their high strength-to-weight ratio. Evaluation of the structural integrity of a laminated composite shell for a set of applied loads is necessary to make the design of such structures reliable.

The structural integrity of a laminate with different fiber orientations in each ply is assessed through the parameters called Failure Index and Safety Factor, using different polynomial failure criteria. Because of the orientation, each ply will have different stiffness in the longitudinal and transverse directions, and hence different responses to the loading. The analysis using a polynomial failure criterion is termed first ply failure analysis, where failure in any ply is considered as failure of the whole laminate.

This example shows how to model laminated composite shells using the Shell interface together with the Composite Materials Module. In this example, six different polynomial criteria are compared. This model is a NAFEMS benchmark model, described in Benchmarks for Membrane and Bending Analysis of Laminated Shells, Part 2: Strength Analysis. The COMSOL Multiphysics solutions are compared with the reference data.

This model example illustrates applications of this type that would nominally be built using the following products: