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Scaling effects in the static and dynamic response of graphite-epoxy beam-columnsScale model technology represents one method of investigating the behavior of advanced, weight-efficient composite structures under a variety of loading conditions. It is necessary, however, to understand the limitations involved in testing scale model structures before the technique can be fully utilized. These limitations, or scaling effects, are characterized. in the large deflection response and failure of composite beams. Scale model beams were loaded with an eccentric axial compressive load designed to produce large bending deflections and global failure. A dimensional analysis was performed on the composite beam-column loading configuration to determine a model law governing the system response. An experimental program was developed to validate the model law under both static and dynamic loading conditions. Laminate stacking sequences including unidirectional, angle ply, cross ply, and quasi-isotropic were tested to examine a diversity of composite response and failure modes. The model beams were loaded under scaled test conditions until catastrophic failure. A large deflection beam solution was developed to compare with the static experimental results and to analyze beam failure. Also, the finite element code DYCAST (DYnamic Crash Analysis of STructure) was used to model both the static and impulsive beam response. Static test results indicate that the unidirectional and cross ply beam responses scale as predicted by the model law, even under severe deformations. In general, failure modes were consistent between scale models within a laminate family; however, a significant scale effect was observed in strength. The scale effect in strength which was evident in the static tests was also observed in the dynamic tests. Scaling of load and strain time histories between the scale model beams and the prototypes was excellent for the unidirectional beams, but inconsistent results were obtained for the angle ply, cross ply, and quasi-isotropic beams. Results show that valuable information can be obtained from testing on scale model composite structures, especially in the linear elastic response region. However, due to scaling effects in the strength behavior of composite laminates, caution must be used in extrapolating data taken from a scale model test when that test involves failure of the structure.
Document ID
Document Type
Jackson, Karen E.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 1990
Subject Category
Structural Mechanics
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.15:102697
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 505-63-01-11
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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