Application of Thermoelastic Stress Analysis as a design tool for the assessment of complex composite components

Lead Research Organisation: University of Southampton
Department Name: Faculty of Engineering & the Environment


Engineering structures made from advanced composite materials are usually connected together by bolts, rivets or pins to transfer loads between primary load bearing members. Although bolted joints are used quite extensively for this purpose they are still not well understood and there is no definite method to predict joint strength. The proposed research aims to look at holes and pin-loaded holes in composite components using thermoelastic stress analysis (TSA) to provide experimental data that will help improve the design of bolted joints. The work will also define the degree to which moulding holes in composite materials improves the strength of the component. A moulded hole is on in which the fibres of the reinforcing material of a composite is routed around the hole instead of being cut using a drill. A full scale test of a real engineering structure will be performed to demonstrate that the behaviour of a bolted joint can be predicted by the smaller scale tests on holes and pin-loaded holes.


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Fruehmann R (2008) On the thermoelastic response of woven composite materials in The Journal of Strain Analysis for Engineering Design

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Fruehmann R (2009) Thermoelastic Stress and Damage Analysis Using Transient Loading in Experimental Mechanics