SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 2001

The Effects of Marcel Defects on Composite Structural Properties


This paper describes a method for predicting key structural properties of carbon fiber reinforced composite materials containing ply waviness several times the nominal ply thickness. These socalled marcelled regions have been observed in a number of highly loaded thick structural components. The origins of these defects are not fully understood, although several contributing factors have been identified. The goal of this work is to develop an analysis based disposition criterion for components where fabrication process changes cannot be readily implemented to eliminate marcel defects. Work to date has focused on developing a micro-mechanics-based procedure for modeling the strength and stiffness properties of a marcelled region given basic properties of the material and simple geometric parameters of the marcel that can be measured nondestructively. The result is a general constitutive model that can be used in global structural analysis packages to assess the effects marcel defects have on component performance. Analyses of test coupons containing marcelled regions have been carried out to illustrate the method and establish the validity of the modeling approach. Results indicate that the degree to which marcel defects affect structural properties depends not only on the maximum fiber misalignment angle, but also on the location and size of the marcelled region and nominal applied strain field.

Author Information

Caiazzo, A
Materials Science Corporation, Fort Washington, PA
Orlet, M
Materials Science Corporation, Fort Washington, PA
McShane, H
NAWCADPAX, Patuxent River, MD
Strait, L
Applied Research Laboratory, Penn State University, State College, PA
Rachau, C
Applied Research Laboratory, Penn State University, State College, PA
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Developed by Committee: D30
Pages: 158–187
DOI: 10.1520/STP14509S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5449-0
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2862-0