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Pratt & Whitney / EREA Award   

The Pratt & Whitney / EREA Award has been created to highlight the value of research and engineering to the aerospace sector, and the inter-dependence between research and the industry.

On 14th April  2000   the Pratt & Whitney /EREA Jury, impressed by the quality of my candidature, decided to award me the first prize for my Ph.D. Thesis.    


(Development of Finite Element Based Non Linear Numerical Procedures to Analyse Damaged Composite Structures). 


Aniello Riccio

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Aerospaziale , Seconda UniversitÓ degli studi di Napoli, Aversa, Italy.



Advanced composite materials are very suitable for aerospace applications because of their low weight and high resistance. However their use in aerospace structures is still dependent on many difficulties in prediction of their damage tolerance. Among the several failure mechanisms of composites, delamination is undoubtedly one of the most critical for structural resistance.

The influence of delaminations on the structural behaviour of fibre-reinforced polymer composites is well known and has been studied very extensively in the literature. However, due to the complexity of this kind of damage mechanism, current understanding in this field of research is still in a primitive stage. In particular, a great effort of research is necessary to fully understand the compressive behaviour of  delaminated composite panels.

This PHD Thesis, carried out in collaboration with C.I.R.A. (Italian Aerospace Research Centre), was focused on the study of stable and unstable through-the-width and embedded delamination growth. In the following a brief explanation of the analytical and numerical development will be given and comparison between obtained numerical resultsand experimental data will be shown.

Numerical analyses have been performed using the non linear finite element code B2000.   The code is based on Total Lagrangian Formulation. The Incremental Continuation Method by Riks [1] is adopted to solve the non linear equilibrium equations.

In order to perform the numerical analyses to predict delamination growth, the B2000 features have been enhanced by means of:

a)  modifications to  incremental iterative continuation method by Riks [1] to solve non linear systems of equilibrium equations  for structures taking into account the delamination growth phenomenon.

b)  introduction of  contact elements

c)  introduction of 2D and 3D interface fracture elements



[1].Riks E. ," Progress in Collapse Analyses" , Journal of Pressure Vessel Technology, vol. 109, pages 33-42,1987

[2]. Perugini P., Riccio A. , Scaramuzzino F. , "Influence of Delamination Growth and Contact Phenomena on the Compressive Behaviour of Composite Panels", Int. Journal of  Composite Materials, vol. 33, n 15, pages 1433-1456,  1999.

[3] Riccio A. , Perugini P.,  Scaramuzzino F. , "Development Of An Effective Numerical Tool For Predicting The Compressive Behaviour Of  Delaminated Composite Panels", presented at Computational Structures Technology conference , Edinburgh 1998 e published on Advances in  Computational Structural Mechanics (Civil Comp Press. Edinburgh 163-174).

[4] Riccio A. , Perugini P.,  Scaramuzzino F. , "Modelling Compression Behaviour of Delaminated Composite Panels", accepted for publication on Computers & Structures 1999.

[5] Riccio A. , Perugini P. , "Development of Fracture and Contact Elements In B2000 To Analyse The Delamination Growth In Composite Panels", presented at 2nd B2000 Workshop,  Manno, Svizzera 1998.

[6] Riccio A. , Perugini P.,  Scaramuzzino F. , "Embedded Delamination Growth In Composite Panels Under Compressive Load", presented at  ASME 1999, Blacksburg  VIRGINIA  and  submitted for pubblication on Composite Structures.

[7] Riccio A. , Perugini P.,  Scaramuzzino F. , D'Anna G. and Tessitore N., "Progressive Failure Analysis of Composite Joints", presented at ASME 1999 , Blacksburg  VIRGINIA  and submitted for pubblication on Composite Structures.

[8] Gaudenzi P. , Perugini P.,  Riccio A. , "On the Incremental Iterative Methods to Analyse Unstable Delamination Growth", submitted for publication on Composite Structures, 1999.

[9] A. Riccio, F. Scaramuzzino and P. Perugini , "Influence of Contact Phenomena on Embedded Delamination Growth in Composites",  accepted for presentation at  ICAS 2000, Harrogate, UK. 



In the next future, B2000 will be developed to face, in a more detailed way, problems related to the compressive response of delaminated composite panels usingt a global-local approach.

However, other fields of aerospace interes will be investigated.

For informations on this PhD thesis  contact  me

The Italian Version of my Ph.D. thesis is available on CD. For information contact  me

The patch version 1.1 of my Ph.D. thesis including an extended abstact in english  is avalilable here . To install the patch follow the instruction in the file readme.txt included in the delivered zip file.

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