Workshop on micromechanics, modelling and failure of composite in Turin (Italy)

Workshop on micromechanics, modelling and failure of composite in Turin (Italy)

8th January 2018

By Manish Hassan Nagaraj, Ravin Garg and Iman Babaei


We are three of the 15 ICONIC ESRs, Manish Hassan Nagaraj (ESR 15 hosted at Politecnico di Torino – POLITO), Ravin Garg (ESR 13 hosted at Centro Ricerche Fiat – CRF) and Iman Babaei (ESR 14 hosted at CRF). On the 15th of December 2017, we attended a workshop on “Micromechanics, modelling and failure of composites”, organised by the H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Training Network (ETN) FULLCOMP and held in the splendid Salone d’Onore of Castello del Valentine, Turin (Italy). The workshop was organised under the scope of a joint project between POLITO and Purdue University (USA), titled “Joint Project for the Internationalization of Research” (INTE).

The objective of the workshop was to bring together world-leading experts to discuss analytical, numerical and experimental approaches to the investigation of composites across various length scales, from the microscopic level to structural scales. The workshop kicked off with a welcome speech by Prof. Stefano Corgnati, Vice-Chancellor for Research, POLITO. Following his speech, project coordinator Prof. Erasmo Carrera elaborated on the expected outcomes and perspectives of the project. ICONIC was also featured during his talk on the collaboration between INTE and ETN projects. This was followed by a short coffee break, after which the technical lectures began in full swing.

The first presentation was given by Prof. Wenbin Yu from the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue University. The main topic of the talk was the micromechanical analysis of composite structures through the concept of the structural genome, which has the capability of bridging across various length scales. The concept was covered in detail during the short course “Mechanics of Structural Genome”, held on 11-14th of December 2017 at POLITO.

The next presentation was by Prof. Bruno Castanie, INSA de Toulouse (France). He presented on “Discrete Modelling Strategies for Aeronautic Composite Structures: from Failure Scenario to Certification”. An explanation of the concept was followed by its application to the modelling of a ribbed sandwich specimen. Another application involved discrete ply modelling, which allows the coupling between inter- and intra-laminar damage, and discontinuity of matrix cracks. He also talked briefly about the VERTEX programme, whose objective is to move from coupon level tests to industrial scale certification. New testing regimes were proposed based on larger specimens, termed “technological specimens”, which give a better representation of the reality, thus making such tests a better candidate for a new validation methodology.

The next talk was on experimental approaches to composite failure, and was presented by Prof. Wayne Chen from Purdue University. The presentation was titled “High-speed X-ray visualization of Dynamic Debonding in Composites”, and covered his research to understand the failure mechanisms at the fibre-matrix interface. This research was carried out at the Impact Science Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory (USA), and the experimental setups involved are truly impressive, with the fibre pull-out mechanism being imaged at a rate of 54,000 frames per second. The effect of pull-out velocity on the crack speed and magnitude of damage was also investigated.

The experimental approach was followed by a purely analytical one, and was presented by Prof. Gennady Kulikov, Tambov State Technical University (Russia), who is currently a visiting professor at POLITO. The presentation was titled “Sampling Surface formulation for 3D stresses and vibration analysis of composite structures”, and described a rigorous mathematical framework for the concept of sampling surfaces.

The last part of the workshop consisted of presentations by two PhD students from the FULLCOMP ETN, who talked briefly about their current research and future research outcomes. Alberto García de Miguel (POLITO) presented his work on combining the Carrera Unified Formulation (CUF) and Mechanics of Structural Genome (MSG) to develop a multi-scale analysis platform. Ibrahim Kaleel (POLITO) talked about his work on multi-scale modelling which was done using RVE models, and was applied to track the propagation of damage within a composite structure. Finally, the workshop concluded with a lunch, during which all participants could interact in an informal setting.

The workshop was certainly an enriching experience, and broadened our knowledge regarding the various aspects of the analysis of composites, across the various length scales.


Learn more about the FULLCOMP ETN here.

Learn more about the INTE project here.