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The Effects of Marcel Defects on Composite Structural Properties

This paper describes a method for predicting key structural properties of carbon fiber reinforced composite materials containing ply waviness several times the nominal ply thickness. These so-called marcelled regions have been observed in a number of highly loaded thick structural components. The origins of these defects are not fully understood, although several contributing factors have been identified. The goal of this work is to develop an analysis based disposition criterion for components where fabrication process changes can not be readily implemented to eliminate marcel defects. Work to date has focused on developing a micromechanics based procedure for modeling the strength and stiffness properties of a marcelled region
given basic properties of the material and simple geometric parameters of the marcel that can be measured non-destructively. The result is a general constitutive model that can be used in global structural analysis packages to assess the effects marcel defects have on component performance.

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