Ply Drop-off in a Composite Panel

Application ID: 90431


Ply drop-off often occurs in composite laminates to tailor the laminate thickness based on the loading requirements. This example illustrates the modeling of ply drop-off in a composite panel. The panel considered for the analysis has symmetric angle-ply layup with three sections: thick, taper, and thin. The thick section has sixteen plies divided into the core, top-bottom belts, and dropped plies. Out of sixteen plies in the thick section, eight plies are dropped gradually in the taper section with specified stagger distance.

The Carbon-Epoxy material having orthotropic material properties is used as a ply material. The Epoxy material having isotropic material properties is used in the pockets near dropped plies. The Layerwise theory based approach together with the Stack Zone modeling and variable thickness layer functionality is used for the detailed representation of the ply drop scenario. A stationary analysis is performed to compute stresses in different plies of various sections of the composite panel under the applied external load.

This model example illustrates applications of this type that would nominally be built using the following products: