Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Dragos Stefan Dancila


In this study, energy dissipation in structures implementing a previously developed, analytically modeled, and experimentally validated composite tailoring concept is investigated using an explicit finite element approach. The tailored composite structures consist in a series connection of parallel alternate load paths of tailored length and thickness. The advantage of the tailored structure when compared to an untailored conventional structure is that when subjected to a tensile load, the response of the tailored composite structure is characterized by progressive failure of the load paths resulting in increased energy dissipation. The tailored composite structure is modeled for IM7-8552 composite material using a dynamic, explicit finite element analysis in Abaqus. The approach offers the advantage of capturing the stress wave propagation within the model throughout the failure sequence. The progressive failure of the tailored composite structure is modeled and analyzed for several configurations of number of links, widths, and strain rates. The original contribution of the present computational investigation beyond analytical modeling and experimental results for this composite tailoring concept available in the literature is that the stress wave propagation is captured in the simulated model for each case, thereby providing a better understanding of the failure progression and of the energy dissipation mechanisms at work. The explicit finite element approach employed in this study to characterize the response of a tailored composite structure can lead to modeling more complex applications of the tailoring concept for which experimental results may be overly expensive to obtain and/or for which analytical solutions may not even be feasible.


Energy dissipation, Yield-type response, Composite tailoring, Redundant load paths, Tailored length and strength, Progressive failure, Failure tailoring, Explicit finite element analysis, Dynamic analysis, Stress waves


Aerospace Engineering | Engineering | Mechanical Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington