A key need for the commercial acceptance and viability of composite structural material systems is a methodology for reliability and lifetime predictions. In this paper, we present a philosophy in which the residual strength of the composite material is calculated as a function of applied loading conditions, environment, and resulting failure mode. Two specific example applications are considered: the assessed and verified performance of fiber wound composite tubes and pultruded shapes. We attempt to demonstrate the understanding of the controlling damage mechanisms and the degradation processes that contribute to the loss in stiffness and strength under simulated service conditions.
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