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Probabilistic composite design is described in terms of a computational simulation. This simulation tracks probabilistically the composite design evolution from constituent materials, fabrication process, through composite mechanics and structural components. Comparisons with experimental data are provided to illustrate selection of probabilistic design allowables, test methods/specimen guidelines, and identification of in situ versus pristine strength. For example, results show that: in situ fiber tensile strength is 90% of its pristine strength; flat-wise long-tapered specimens are most suitable for setting ply tensile strength allowables; a composite radome can be designed with a reliability of 0.999999; and laminate fatigue exhibits wide-spread scatter at 90% cyclic-stress to static-strength ratios.
design methods, computer codes, design allowables, graphite fibers, test data, comparisons, in situ strength, testing guidelines, shear buckling, component reliability, laminate fatigue
Senior aerospace scientist, NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH