Thick Composite Crack Analysis

Period of Performance: 10/23/2014 - 10/30/2015


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Global Engineering Research and Technolo
2845 E. 2nd Street
Tucson, AZ 85716
Principal Investigator


Advanced thick composites are increasingly used in components for defense applications as well as commercial structures. The proposed project will lead to the development and commercialization of a validated predictive capability based on the Peridynamic (PD) theory to enhance the performance of thick composite components under complex loading conditions while exposed to harsh environments. The proposed capability will specifically improve damage prediction and growth in thick composite parts for improving design and life predictions in rotary wing applications. It will include the effect of random material properties, imperfections, multiple-load paths (cyclic loading) and temperature and moisture diffusion on residual strength of composite structures. Damage is inherently calculated in a PD analysis without special procedures, making progressive failure analysis more practical. This results in a more efficient and cost effective design that meets reliability goals. The proposed approach will also minimize the number of coupon level tests used in the material qualification through PD simulations (virtual tests) validated against empirical data (measurement). Such techniques will advance our ability to predict material behavior and enable affordable qualification of composite materials for structural applications.