A Study of the Failure of Joints in Composite Material Fuel Cells Due to Hydraulic Ram Loading
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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The objectives of this research were to show the relative importance of the transverse shearing forces, the bending moments, and the tensile forces produced by hydraulic ram loading on military aircraft fuel tank joint designs for composite materials, and to present fuel tank test section designs. With the use of a finite element analysis, it was shown that the transverse shearing force may be major cause of attachment failure of composites, primarily by an unzipping or pull out mode of failure. It was also shown that failure criteria for transverse shearing stresses in composites are lacking. By comparing several specific aircraft design concepts, designs for a wing fuel test tank and a fuselage fuel test tank were selected. Simplicity, similarity to actual aircraft fuel tanks, and uniformity between experiments were primary considerations in the selection.