Composite Damage Evaluation Tool

Period of Performance: 12/12/2008 - 11/19/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Global Engineering & Materials, Inc.
11 Alscot Drive
East Lyme, CT 06333
Principal Investigator


The focus of the proposed effort is to develop a coupled composite damage assessment and repair evaluation tool for a given damage state measured by a NDI technique. New solution modules for damage and repair representation will be developed and linked with our existing mesh independent extended finite element (XFEM) toolkit for ABAQUS. This tool will for the first time be able to model arbitrary location and size of damage and geometric configuration associated with either a bonded or a bolted repair without user intervention or remeshing. High computational efficiency is achieved via the coupled XFEM shell and hybrid interface element formulation. The developed toolkit provides a great flexibility in incorporation of NDI field data and exploration of an optimal repair option. GEM has secured commitments for technical support from Bell Helicopter, who will assist in evaluation of composite repair analysis tool by fabrication of coupon specimens, introduction of initial damage via impact, damage evaluation via NDI, repair design and implementation based on SRM and GEM s tool prediction, and performance of post-test on repaired specimens. In addition, our consultant, Professor Ted Belytschko from Northwestern University, will aid in tool development and module integration. BENEFIT: The results from this research will have significant benefits and commercial application in the aerospace, automotive and many other industries. It will result in 1) a commercially viable, accurate, computationally efficient, and user-friendly damage assessment and repair evaluation tool; 2) a physical mapping relation between the NDI data and a rational repair decision; 3) a condition-based repair decision to improve reliability and reduce cost of repair process; and 4) a standardized toolkit to reduce flow times for disposition and increase the reliability of repair. By teaming with Bell Helicopter will considerably shorten our development cycle from developing a prototype tool to commercially available design software.