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The use of laminated composites in mechanical, aerospace, civil and
automotive structures has been increased significantly in recent times. It is
highly essential to have a thorough understanding of the behaviour of
laminated panels under various loading conditions. Stress analysts working
with laminated composite structures generally use a linear Finite Element (FE)
analysis solution dealing with Failure Index (FI) and Strength Ratio (SR)
calculation derived from a certain failure theory based on the First Ply Failure
(FPF) analysis. However a composite laminate can continue to withstand
significant loading long after the first ply failure due to the nature of the multi
directional laminate layup. The process continues until the final-ply-failure,
and subsequently the composite laminate fails completely. The entire process
of the composite materials from the first ply failure until the last ply failure is
termed as Progressive Ply Failure (PPF).

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Chinmaya Panda Stress Analyst, TATA Consultancy Services Limited, India

THEME Composites: Damage and Failure Criteria KEYWORDS Composites, Laminate, First Ply Failure, Progressive Ply Failure

SUMMARY The use of laminated composites in mechanical, aerospace, civil and automotive structures has been increased significantly in recent times. It is highly essential to have a thorough understanding of the behaviour of laminated panels under various loading conditions. Stress analysts working with laminated composite structures generally use a linear Finite Element (FE) analysis solution dealing with Failure Index (FI) and Strength Ratio (SR) calculation derived from a certain failure theory based on the First Ply Failure (FPF) analysis. However a composite laminate can continue to withstand significant loading long after the first ply failure due to the nature of the multi directional laminate layup. The process continues until the final-ply-failure, and subsequently the composite laminate fails completely. The entire process of the composite materials from the first ply failure until the last ply failure is termed as Progressive Ply Failure (PPF). Very few commercial Finite Element (FE) tools have the capability to simulate routine Progressive Ply Failure analysis though a significant number of technical papers on theoretical part of the subject have been published. This paper presents a case study of detail simulation of the Progressive Ply Failure analysis carried out in the commercial FE code MSC/NASTRAN implicit nonlinear solution (SOL 600) technique for a channel section laminated composite beam subjected to shear loading. A common approach is to model a degrading laminate with layer wise failure criteria and degradation rules. This paper will also demonstrate why and how the Progressive Ply Failure analysis is an important consideration for the prediction of composite material behaviour.

1. INTRODUCTION Unlike isotropic materials, composites typically have a quite complex response to loading. An isotropic material depicts load-displacement response linear until the material yielding is reached. This yield point is typically close to the material failure point. On the other hand, as the composite undergoes increased loading, failure will occur at various points in the material, reaching their corresponding failure limit. These lamina failures change the characteristics of the material, resulting in change in the material response. The strength characteristics or load carrying capacity of the material after it undergoes the first material failure and before final material or ultimate lamina failure is of great importance in the study of composites. Failure happens mainly due to three macro-mechanic modes of failure associated with the composite materials; breakage of fibres, cracks in matrix and delamination between plies. Breakage of fibres occurs if the longitudinal strength of the fibres falls below the applied loading. Similarly the matrix crack happens when the matrix strength falls below the applied loading. If cracks in the lamina occur first due to continued loading conditions, these cracks decrease the matrix stiffness causing the surrounding plies to carry a higher stress than they normally would. Delamination of plies occurs due to out of plane normal or shear stress resulting the laminate opening or shearing. Composite materials, due to the nature of multidirectional layups, may not fail completely when one or more laminas reach the material threshold. Hence the failure of composite materials is a progressive series of nature. The first ply failure, analogous to the yield stress in an isotropic material, occurs when that lamina within the composite first reaches its respective failure limit due to the lowest applied external load. The ability of the material to withstand loading after first ply failure depends upon the nature of the multidirectional laminate layups. Consequently, this first ply failure will result in a change in the material constitutive relations, reducing the stiffness of the composite. The process continues until the final-ply-failure, and subsequently the composite laminate fails completely. The entire process of the composite materials from the first ply failure until the last ply failure is termed as Progressive Ply Failure (PPF). This paper reports a Progressive Ply Failure study of a prismatic channel section laminated composite beam subjected to displacement controlled shear loading. The commercial FE code MSC.NASTRAN/PATRAN is used to simulate the Progressive Ply Failure analysis of the channel section laminated composite beam. MSC/NASTRAN implicit nonlinear solution (SOL 600) is utilized to carry out the numerical analysis.

2. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND 1. Initial Ply Failure Historically most of the composite structures analysis is based on the concept of First Ply Failure (FPF). The First Ply Failure includes the failure of the weakest lamina. If the weakest lamina stress exceeds the allowable strength of the lamina, the lamina fails which is called as First Ply Failure. The First Ply Failure analysis is carried out on the basis of certain failure theories mainly classified into three groups, limit or non-interactive theories (maximum stress theory, maximum strain theory); interactive theories (Tsai-Hill theory, Tsai-Wu theory, Hoffman theory); and partially interactive or failure mode based theories (Hashin-Rotem theory, Puck theory). A number of new theories are also appeared that attempt to match test results more closely. The First Ply Failure analysis deals with the calculation of Failure Index (FI) or Strength Ratio (SR). The stress/strength ratio is termed as Failure Index (FI). FI is a single number that represents the failure status of the composite structure. FI value more than one implies the plies are failed and less than one implies the plies are not failed. For the maximum stress and maximum strain criterion, the Strength Ratio (SR) is defined as the reciprocal of the corresponding Failure Index (FI). For the Tsai-Hill criterion, SR is defined as the under root of reciprocal of the corresponding Failure Index (FI). In First Ply Failure analysis, failure is total if the FI exceeds one. Often the ultimate ply failure or last play failure may reach sufficient away from limit load or first ply load. That means even though few plies fail initially, but the remaining plies remain intact for a large portion of the loading cycle. 2. Subsequent Ply Failure A simple approach to follow the subsequent failure is as follows: when initial failure takes place, the failure may occur in the fiber or in the matrix mode. In the first case, the elastic property in the fiber direction EL, is reduced; in the second case, the elastic properties in the fibre transverse direction, ET and shear modulus, GL, are reduced. A conservative approach for analysing subsequent failure is to assume that the stiffness contribution of that first failed ply is reduced to zero. The analysis is then continued until all the plies have failed. 3. MSC/NASTRAN SOLUTION 600 Approach The entire process of Progressive Ply Failure analysis is a nonlinear phenomenon beginning with local damage and continuing through ultimate failure. This is mainly a material nonlinearity phenomenon due to the change in stiffness of plies due to ply damage at each load increment. MSC/NASTRAN implicit nonlinear solution (SOL 600) has the capability to simulate a PPF analysis. The composite material can undergo severe damage

due to excessive loading. The Tsai-Hill failure criterion is used here to indicate failure. When failure occurs, the element stiffness is degraded. Equilibrium is re-established after the stiffness degradation. In the next load increment; the ply stresses are again checked to see which plies and what direction plies have failed. MSC/NASTRAN SOL 600 offers three different methods to simulate the material degradation such as (a) selective gradual degradation (b) selective immediate degradation (c) original marc method. In the present case study, selective gradual degradation option is used to simulate the PPF analysis. In this method, the stiffness is reduced to 1 % of the original modulus for the failed plies. MAT8 entry which is used to define the 2D orthotropic material properties is followed by a MATF card to specify failure model properties with same MID of MAT8 card in Progressive Ply Failure. Failure occurs when any one of the specified failure criteria is satisfied. A typical MSC/NASTRAN MAT8 and MATF entry is illustrated as below.

The stresses are calculated at the four outermost Gaussian points and then transformed into the material coordinate systems and compared with the failure criterion where the types of failure were examined. Failure was assumed to occur at the end of each displacement or force increment, depending upon the analysis was displacement or force controlled and the applied load reevaluated. If the element transformed stresses exceeded the respective failure criteria at a given ply, then a stiffness reduction was accomplished. The aspects of the Progressive Ply Failure models in MSC/NASTRAN implicit nonlinear solution 600 are followed as: 1- Failure occurs when any one of the failure criteria is satisfied. 2- The behaviour up to the failure point is linear elastic. 3- Upon failure, the material moduli for orthotropic materials at the integration points are changed such that all of the moduli have the lowest moduli entered. 3. PROBLEM DESCRIPTION A Progressive Ply Failure of a channel section laminated composite cantilever beam is simulated analytically here. The beam is a 650 mm in length and 200

mm in web depth and 100 mm in flange width. There is a circular cut out of 80 mm diameter in the web of the beam. Fig. 1 shows the dimensions of the beam with cut out details. The beam considered here for the case study is made of a quasi-isotropic [0/45/90]S Hexply M21/T800S carbon epoxy prepreg laminated composite of each ply thickness of 0.25 mm and a final laminate thickness of 2 mm for the beam web and flanges. The mechanical properties and strength properties used in the present study are presented in Table 1. The beam is modelled utilizing the MSC/NASTRAN QUAD4 element, capable of representing the membrane, bending and transverse shear behaviour of the plate, with the properties defined by PCOMP entry. The element is defined layer wise by means of respective thicknesses and orientation. A typical FE model shown in Fig. 2 has 7,659 shell elements with 47,124 degrees of freedom. The beam tip nodes are connected with shear centre node via a rigid bar RBE2 element.

0o

80mm 200 mm

650 mm

240 mm 100 mm

Figure 1:

Fixed end

240 mm

Figure 2: Finite Element mesh of cantilever beam with a tip enforced displacement applied at shear centre.

Mechanical properties Principal Youngs modulus, E1 (GPa) Principal Youngs modulus, E2 (GPa) Shear moduli, G12=G13=G23 (GPa)

Values 172 10

Strength properties Tensile strength of lamina in the fiber direction, Xt (MPa) Compressive strength of lamina in the fiber direction Xc (MPa) Tensile strength of lamina in direction transverse to fiber direction, Yt (MPa) Compressive strength of lamina in direction transverse to fiber direction, Yc (MPa) In-plane shear strength, S (MPa) Bond strength, R (MPa)

50

0.3

250 79 67.6

4. ANALYSIS PROCEDURE AND RESULTS The cantilever beam is subjected to a 20 mm vertical down enforced tip displacement applied in 20 increments at its shear centre. As the load is ramped up, the elements and plies near the fixed edge start to fail. At the end of seventh load increments at 0.35 sec, the maximum failure index of 0.98 is arrived as shown in Fig. 3. At the end of eighth load increments at 0.4 sec, the elements near the fixed edge have the first failure with failure index of 1.0 (Fig. 4). This load corresponds to the First Ply Failure load at 40 % of applied load and it indicates where first failure will occur. This layer is the fourth layer i.e. in 90o direction. If this beam was subject to a first ply failure analysis, the load carrying capacity of the beam would be listed at 40% of the applied load. With increasing load, there is more failure, as can be shown in Fig. 5 and Fig. 6. It can be seen in Fig. 7 that as the load is ramped up, elements and plies around the cut out start to fail. At some point, several elements fail due to severe stiffness reduction. By the time the load has reached 75% of the applied load, the plies across a section have completely failed as shown in Fig. 8. The forcedisplacement curve at the shear centre is shown in Fig. 9. Here, we can see the drop in structural stiffness at 18 mm enforced displacement. But some plies are still not experienced any failure and intact with structure (Fig. 10). The severe damage has occurred at the 100% of the applied load (Fig. 11).

Figure 3:

Figure 4:

Figure 5:

Figure 6:

Figure 7:

Elements around the cut out failed at 70% of the applied load.

Figure 8:

Figure 9:

Intact plies

5. DISCUSSIONS AND CONCLUSIONS A Progressive Ply Failure is simulated analytically in MSC/NASTRAN implicit nonlinear solution technique here. In the present study, we found that though the first ply failure occurred at 40% of the applied load, but the remaining plies remain intact for a large portion of the loading. At the end of 75% of the applied load, the beam can be said as completely failure state. Hence the 75% of the load can be considered as ultimate failure load. The beam has a big window of reserved strength from first ply failure till last ply failure. When a lot of damage happens, it is often difficult to obtain convergence. If unstable growth of the damage zone occurs, there is a possibility of not obtaining a solution for a certain load level. The elements that suffer severe damage tend to convergence problems as they have a low stiffness. REFERENCES 1. Spottswood, S. M., Palazotto, A. N., Progressive failure analysis of a composite shell. Composite structures, 2001, 53, 117-131. 2. Liu, K., Tsai, S. W., A progressive quadratic failure criterion for a laminate. Composites science and technology, 1998, 58, 1023-1032.

3. Tong, L. L., Wang, Z. Q., Chen, S. H., Sun, B. H., Progressive failure analysis of composite pressure vessels by finite element method. Advances in fracture and damage mechanics VI, 2007, 348-349, 133-136. 4. McPheeters, B. W., Progressive ply failure analysis for composite structures. http://www.nenastran.com/newnoran/conferencePaper 5. White papers, Progressive failure analysis of composites made easy. http://www.firehole.com/products/mct/resources.aspx 6. MSC.Marc volume A: theory and user information. 7. MSC.Nastran 2007 r1 implicit nonlinear (SOL 600) users guide. 8. Progressive failure analysis of lap joint. MSC.Marc users guide.

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