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The last five decades have seen rapid expansion of fibre-reinforced composite materials to a wide variety of industries. Composites are increasingly replacing metals in many applications as they offer significant weight savings due to high stiffness-to-weight and strength-to-weight ratios. At the same time they provide the designers with a greater number of degrees of freedom that can be varied to ‘tailor’ the material to a specific application.
To fully utilise benefits offered by composites, structures made out of them must be damage-tolerant, i.e. able to sustain damage such as cracks and delaminations safely until repaired or replaced. This requires development of accurate and reliable mathematical models that can predict response of composite structures containing damage.
The talk will outline and discuss current thinking in damage modelling of fibre-reinforced composite materials. This will include models developed by the speaker and co-workers which have been recently included in the 3rd Worldwide Failure Exercise, a set of activities that benchmark and validate current methodologies for predicting the mechanical behaviour of fibre-reinforced composites under complex loadings.
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Professor Kashtalyan is Director of the Centre for Micro- and Nanomechanics at the School of Engineering, University of Aberdeen. She has authored more than 60 papers in peer-reviewed international scientific journals and five chapters in major reference books on composites.