Finite Element Analysis of Composite Materials is a textbook that describes in detail how to perform analysis of composite materials and structures using finite element analysis, specifically ANSYS™, beyond what is available with preliminary analysis tools such as lamination theory. This textbook is intended for students and engineering practitioners in industry dealing with analysis of composite materials/structures.
Preliminary analysis and design of composite materials and structures is described in my previous textbook Introduction to Composite Materials Design (1998) where it is shown that by using simplifying assumptions such as plane-stress it is possible to solve problems in closed form and with simple calculations. The next stage in the design process is Detailed Analysis, including three-dimensional effects, viscoelasticity, edge-effects, elastic instability, damage, and delaminations, all of which are not addressed in introductory textbooks. Finite Element Analysis of Composite Materials describes the theory and applications of these detailed analysis concepts. Since detailed analysis problems cannot be solved efficiently in closed form or with simple calculations and/or simple software, the finite element method is used for obtaining solutions. ANSYS, which is universally available in universities and industry, is used almost exclusively to minimize the time and effort involved in learning the tool or software, which is not the primary objective of this textbook, thus freeing up time during the course (or self study) to learn the theory, concepts, and applications.
Detailed analysis of composite materials is crucial to all structural applications of composite materials such NASA’s space shuttle, sporting goods, boating, civil aircraft, etc. More and more structural applications are being switched from metals to composites every day in every industry and designers are required to perform complex analysis with limited literature. Also, designers are required to use complex computational tools such as Finite Element Analysis, which have good software manuals to illustrate how to run the software, but provide little guidance about structural/material behavior and interpretation of the results in engineering terms. Finite Element Analysis of Composite Materials addresses this need.