Buckling and compressive strength of laminates with optimized fiber-steering and layer-stacking for aerospace applications

Richard Butler, Andrew T. Rhead, Mark W.D. Nielsen

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section

1 Citation (SciVal)


The primary objective of design in aerospace composites is to minimize weight for a given loading requirement. For thin laminates subject to compression, this means ensuring sufficient buckling stiffness while maintaining material strength in the presence of in-service damage. In effect, stress levels (i.e., applied running load/laminate thickness) are maximized subject to buckling and strength requirements. Where buckling stresses for lightly loaded (thin) panels are relatively low, increased stiffening could be used to reduce effective panel widths, but this comes with increased manufacturing costs. A new manufacturing technique that incorporates in-plane steering of fibers to achieve curved, elastically tailored, tows is shown to offer improved efficiency by increasing the load carried in the vicinity of supports. However, such design needs to satisfy damage tolerance requirements. The use of a simple, analytical approach to damage tolerance enables the selection of optimum stacking sequences and shows the potential scope of using nonstandard ply orientations for even greater improvement over the current design practice.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolymer Composites in the Aerospace Industry
PublisherElsevier Masson
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780081026793
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2020

Publication series

NameWoodhead Publishing Series in Composites Science and Engineering

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Compression after impact
  • Damage tolerance
  • Elastic coupling & tailoring
  • Optimum design
  • Strip analysis
  • Tow steering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


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