Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics


Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Wenbin Yu

Committee Chair

Wenbin Yu

Committee Member 1

Vikas Tomar

Committee Member 2

Arun Prakash


Delamination, or interlaminar debonding, is a commonly observed failure mechanism in composite laminates. It is of great significance to comprehensively simulate the mixed-mode progressive delamination in composite structures because by doing this, people can save a lot of effort in evaluating the safe load which a composite structure can endure.^ The objective of this thesis is to develop a numerical approach to simulating double-cantilever beam (DCB) and mixed-mode bending (MMB) tests and also of specifying/validating various cohesive models. A finite element framework, which consists of properly selecting time integration scheme (explicit dynamic), viscosity, load rate and mass scaling, is developed to yield converged and accurate results.^ Two illustrative cohesive laws (linear and power-law) are programmed with a user- defined material subroutine for ABAQUS/Explicit, VUMAT, and implemented into the finite element framework. Parameters defined in cohesive laws are studied to evaluate their effects on the predicted load-displacement curves. ^ The finite element model, together with the predetermined model parameters, is found to be capable of producing converged and accurate results. The finite element framework, embedded with the illustrative cohesive laws, is found to be capable of handling various interfacial models.^ The present approach is concluded to be useful in simulating delamination with more sophisticated material models. Together with the method for determining model parameters, it can be used by computer codes other than ABAQUS.