Highly-Nonlinear and Transient Structural Dynamics: a Review about Crashworthiness of Composite Aeronautical Structures


E. Deletombe, D. Delsart (ONERA)

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This paper is a bibliographic review dealing with composite aircraft and rotorcraft crashworthiness. The paper focuses on structural aspects of large composite aircraft or rotorcraft parts (fuselage parts, barrels or larger parts). Material topics, such as the experimental characterization and numerical modelling of the dynamic behavior of composite materials, of composite joints (details) and of energyabsorbing components (elementary parts) are mentioned but not discussed in detail. More information about this topic can be found, for instance, in another bibliographic review. The first section of the paper deals with work performed in various labs since the early '90s. The second section describes the global strategy of the French Aerospace Lab in the matter of studying composite aircraft or rotorcraft crashworthiness over the same period, following a quite different strategy. Lessons learnt from all of these works are discussed in detail, which can be derived into best practices for young engineers or researchers working in this field. Indeed, the complexity of the composite materials, and hence the structure behavior under crash conditions, is so great (due to potentially very versatile rupture behaviors) that great care must be taken when studying their crash response. As a conclusion of the review paper, the need for a numerical/experimental building-block approach up to the barrel level is clearly evidenced, which should not be done without wellassessed V&V (verify and validate) strategies for the virtual part of the process.