HyperSizer Published Paper

"Stiffness, Thermal Expansion, and Thermal Bending Formulation of Stiffened, Fiber- Reinforced Composite Panels" (12 pages)

Presented at the 34th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference, La Jolla, CA, April 19-21, 1993


Craig Collier


A method is presented for formulating stiffness terms and thermal coefficients of stiffened, fiber-reinforced composite panels. The method is robust enough to handle panels with general cross sectional shapes, including those which are unsymmetric and/or unbalanced. Non-linear, temperature and load dependent constitutive material data of each laminate are used to "build-up" the stiffened panel membrane, bending, and membrane-bending coupling stiffness terms and thermal coefficients. New thermal coefficients are introduced to quantify panel response from through-the-thickness temperature gradients. A technique of implementing this capability with a single plane of shell finite elements using the MSC/NASTRAN™ analysis program (FEA) is revealed that provides accurate solutions of entire airframes or engines with coarsely meshed models.

An example of a composite, hat-stiffened panel is included to demonstrate errors that occur when an unsymmetric panel is symmetrically formulated as traditionally done. The erroneous results and the correct ones produced from this method are compared to analysis from discretely meshed three-dimensional FEA.