Numerical and Experimental Assessment of Non-Adiabatic Effects in Thermoelastic Stress Analysis of Composite Laminates

  • Cappello, Riccardo (University of Bristol)
  • Dulieu-Barton, Janice (University of Bristol)
  • Ruiz-Iglesias, Rafael (University of Bristol)
  • Pitarresi, Giuseppe (University of Palermo)
  • Catalanotti, Giuseppe (University of Evora)

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The ability of Thermoelastic Stress Analysis (TSA) to determine stress states in composite laminates is limited by difficulties in the quantitative interpretation of the experimentally acquired thermoelastic signal. The main challenges are linked i) to the accurate determination of the thermoelastic heat source, due to the anisotropic and non-homogeneous properties of the material, and ii) to the assessment of the through-the-thickness thermal exchanges, between the plies of the laminate. This work presents a comprehensive investigation of the thermoelastic effect in orthotropic composite laminates subjected to cyclic loading, employing a meso-scale approach. The analysis is conducted employing a Finite Element model that accurately captures the complex thermoelastic behaviour of composite laminates, taking into account the material system, layup, loading frequency, and the presence of a superficial resin-rich layer. The model is able to reproduce the thermoelastic effect at the lamina level and the through-thickness heat transfer. The study examines different layups and compares results against Wong's analytical model , in addition to validating them with experiments on IM7/8552 carbon fibre specimens.