Evaluation of stress in bmi-carbon fiber laminate to determine the onset of microcracking
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In this work the conditions for which a (0,90,90,0,0,90)s BMI-carbon fiber laminate will initiate transverse microcracking are determined for the fabrication of a cryogenic fuel tank for use in a Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV). This is accomplished using a quadratic interaction criterion failure analysis on the total stress state at possible launch conditions. There are three major sources of stress, that is, thermal residual stress, internal pressure stress, and applied load stress, that are evaluated at the launch stage to determine the total stress state. To assess the accuracy of the analysis the well known X-33 cryogenic fuel tank failure was analyzed as an example. The results of the X-33 example show that the analysis accurately portrays the failure of the X-33 and provides evidence that the analysis can be used to provide reliable conditions for the initiation of microcracking. The final result of this study is a range of launch conditions that can be used without the initiation of microcracking and a limiting range of conditions that cause complete microcracking throughout the laminate.
Pickle, Brent Durrell (2004). Evaluation of stress in bmi-carbon fiber laminate to determine the onset of microcracking. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from