Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Alfred E. Thal, Jr., PhD


This effort explored the mechanical characteristics and economic feasibility of using the fiber metal laminate, GLARE-3, as a secondary aircraft structure; specifically, the cargo floor of a C-130. The mechanical properties were determined through static four-point bending and tensile testing and dynamic impact testing. Aggregate behavior of the constituent materials was predicted using a model which consisted of Mass Volume Fraction (MVF) and Classical Laminated Plate Theory (CLPT) methods using known values for the constituents. Static testing was conducted on coupon-level specimens using standardized testing procedures. Static tensile tests were conducted on specimens with four different fiber orientations, 0°, 22.5°, 45°, and 90°, while static bending tests were conducted on fiber orientations of 0° and 90°. Two series of impact tests were performed on both GLARE-3 and 2024 T3 aluminum using 4-inch wide strips to show impact damage progression. Data for the economic analysis was gathered from existing literature and cost data was analyzed over a 30 year period for both GLARE and aluminum. Analysis of the data proved the use of GLARE-3 as a potential cargo floor material was both mechanically and economically feasible with the material paying for itself within the first year of its use.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number