Abstract
Defectfree manufacturing of parts and structures based on advanced materials can be challenging. Thermoplastic composites form no exception. In particular, processinduced inplane fiber waviness is worrisome as it is often difficult to prevent, while it may have a detrimental effect on the mechanical performance. Often in practice, the part is rejected when the effect of the defect is unknown. A proper understanding and quantification of the effect of inplane waviness on the mechanical performance are therefore required. Earlier studies, mainly on unidirectional composites, showed that the compressive strength is especially sensitive to waviness. To confirm whether this translates to multidirectional thermoplastic composites, this thesis investigates the effect of inplane waviness on the compressive failure of quasiisotropic laminates.
The work presented in this thesis shows that localized inplane waviness in the plies that are oriented in the loading direction can have a pronounced adverse effect on compressive strength due to early damage initiation which is governed by kinking failure. Two parameters, namely the maximum waviness angle and number of wavy plies in the loading direction, play an important role in the compressive damage development and strength. It was experimentally demonstrated that the compressive strength initially decreases with increasing maximum waviness angle and tends to level off for angles larger than 20°. Increasing the number of wavy plies in the loading direction has a similar degrading effect on the strength. The reduction is linearly proportional to the fraction of wavy axial plies, which means that the intact axial plies govern the ultimate strength. Between the two waviness parameters, the latter is the most influential on the ultimate strength. Lastly, the implication on the design of aircraft structures was evaluated by comparing the results from this work with the reference openhole compressive strength retention. This work shows that, for the material system and the severity studied, the existing design value derived from openhole compressive strength can accommodate the reduction due to waviness.
The work presented in this thesis shows that localized inplane waviness in the plies that are oriented in the loading direction can have a pronounced adverse effect on compressive strength due to early damage initiation which is governed by kinking failure. Two parameters, namely the maximum waviness angle and number of wavy plies in the loading direction, play an important role in the compressive damage development and strength. It was experimentally demonstrated that the compressive strength initially decreases with increasing maximum waviness angle and tends to level off for angles larger than 20°. Increasing the number of wavy plies in the loading direction has a similar degrading effect on the strength. The reduction is linearly proportional to the fraction of wavy axial plies, which means that the intact axial plies govern the ultimate strength. Between the two waviness parameters, the latter is the most influential on the ultimate strength. Lastly, the implication on the design of aircraft structures was evaluated by comparing the results from this work with the reference openhole compressive strength retention. This work shows that, for the material system and the severity studied, the existing design value derived from openhole compressive strength can accommodate the reduction due to waviness.
Original language  English 

Qualification  Doctor of Philosophy 
Awarding Institution 

Supervisors/Advisors 

Award date  27 Jan 2022 
Place of Publication  Enschede 
Publisher  
Print ISBNs  9789036552967 
DOIs  
Publication status  Published  27 Jan 2022 