ABAQUS to commercialize Boeing composite technology

18 Apr, 2004

ABAQUS will develop and market Boeing technology for prediction of fracture and failure in laminated composite materials. The technology, known as VCCT (virtual crack closure technique), grew out of the Composite Affordability Inititiave, of which Boeing is a member.

VCCT in action

One application of VCCT technology is to assess the stiffness, strength, life, and damage tolerance of bonded joints such as the joint between the end of a typical aircraft stringer and the attached thin skin. VCCT allows ABAQUS to simulate the debonding of such a joint in a manner consistent with fracture mechanics, with the strength of the bond, and with the applied load. This sequence of figures illustrates an example of debonding failure. The top figure shows the stringer/skin bond for the case where the skin is loaded in tension at the load where debonding is just beginning at the corners. In the middle figure, debonding has progressed as the load continues to be applied to the skin. In the final figure, the stringer end has completely debonded from the skin, substantially changing the integrity and strength of the structure. (Image courtsy of Boeing.)

“Composite technologies are playing an increasingly important role on many projects at Boeing," said Gene Partlow, vice president of Boeing Intellectual Property Business. “This technology will provide significant new capabilities for virtual testing of composite structures."

In the short term, ABAQUS will commercialize the technology for use by Boeing, its suppliers, and other third parties. In the longer term, the technology will become an integrated part of the ABAQUS software suite.