Impact Response of Composite Fuselage Frames 871009

Graphite-epoxy frames were drop tested onto a concrete floor to simulate crash loadings. The frames have Z-shaped cross sections typical of designs often proposed for fuselage structure of advanced composite transports. A diameter of six feet for the frames was chosen to reduce specimen fabrication costs and to facilitate testing. Accelerometer, strain gage, and photographic measurements are presented which characterize the impact behavior of frames with differing masses to represent structural or seat/occupant masses. Failures of the graphite-epoxy frames involved complete separations through the cross section. All damage to the lightly loaded composite frames was confined to an area close to the impact point. Subsequent failures left and right of the impact point occurred for the more heavily loaded specimens.


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