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This paper describes current mechanical property characterization practices for advanced composites in automotive and primarily stiffness-critical aircraft secondary structure applications. The use of extensive costly test programs to develop statistically valid static and fatigue design allowables is avoided. Use is made of small property-characterization programs that make maximum use of cost-effective coupon-type specimens and that are tailored to the special application at hand.
composite materials, secondary structures, aircraft, automotive, hybrids, test methods, cost
Group leader, Structural Mechanics Section, Grumman Aerospace Corp., Bethpage, N.Y.