Impact Evaluation of Composite Floor Sections 891018
Graphite-epoxy floor sections representative of aircraft fuselage construction were statically and dynamically tested to evaluate their response to crash loadings. These floor sections were fabricated using a frame-stringer design typical of present aluminum aircraft without features to enhance crashworthiness. The floor sections were tested as part of a systematic research program developed to study the impact response of composite components of increasing complexity. The ultimate goal of the research program is to develop crashworthy design features for future composite aircraft. Initially, individual frames of six-foot diameter were tested both statically and dynamically. The frames were then used to construct built-up floor sections for dynamic tests at impact velocities of approximately 20 feet/sec to simulate survivable crash velocities. In addition, static tests were conducted to gain a better understanding of the failure mechanisms seen in the dynamic tests.