An XFEM-Based Methodology for Fatigue Delamination and Permeability in Composites
Grogan, David M.
Leen, Sean B.
Ó Brádaigh, Conchúr M.
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Grogan, D.M., Leen, S.B. and Ó Brádaigh, C.M., (2014) 'An XFEM-Based Methodology for Fatigue Delamination and Permeability in Composites'. Composite Structures, 107 :205-218.
Carbon fibre reinforced polymers (CFRP) are one of the prospective material families being investigated for use in the fuel tanks of future reusable space launch vehicles (RSLVs). The extreme thermo-mechanical loading that these structures experience can lead to damage build-up in the CFRP in the form of microcracking and delamination, which can lead to increased laminate permeability. This work presents a novel XFEM-based methodology for the combined simulation and prediction of thermal fatigue delamination for identification of delaminated crack opening displacement (DCOD) and hence composite laminate permeability. The methodology is validated through simulation of standardised static and fatigue delamination test methods, using low computational cost modelling techniques. Delamination growth in a quasi-isotropic laminate under cryogenic fatigue loading is used to examine the effects of initial interlaminar defects on subsequent crack growth as well as the relationship between delamination length and material permeability based on DCOD values predicted by the new methodology.