Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Anthony N. Palazotto, PhD


The objective of this research was to determine the physical response, including material failure, of a curved composite panel designed to resist transverse loading. The cause of the material failure, in the form of delamination, fiber and/or matrix failure, was determined through various criterion based on non-linear movement using a finite element analysis technique. Data generated both with and without the addition of progressive failure criteria, was compared with previously published experimental data, noting where the theory diverges from the experimental results. The inclusion of various failure criterion, to include maximum stress, Lee, and Hashin, provided a more realistic representation of the total physical response of the shell. Once an approximate range of accurate physical representation was realized, progressive failure of composite sandwich shells under transverse loading were examined. Results of the analytic comparison with the published experimental data indicate that the SLR theory overpredicts the stiffness of the various shells for both the cases considering and not considering failure criteria. Furthermore, matrix failure patterns predicted by all three criterion were similar to the experimental results. Core failures predicted in the composite sandwich analysis were similar between the failure criterion.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number



The author's Vita page is omitted.