Composite Materials For Aerospace Structures Homework

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AERSP 597F / AERSP 497F -- Spring 2002

Instructor: Professor George A. Lesieutre 229 Hammond 814-863-0103 Lectures: MW 11:15 - 12:30 (occasionally until 1:15) 124 Walker Office Hours: M 4:00 - 5:00 R 1:30 - 2:30 or by appointment



  • To survey and critically examine topics related to the design, analysis, and testing of advanced composite structures for aerospace vehicles. Key general topics include structural design issues, mechanics of laminated structures, and energy methods.
  • To prepare students for advanced study in areas such as aeroelasticity, elastic tailoring, and controlled structures.



  • EMCH 471 (Engineering composite materials)
  • AERSP 302 (Aerospace structures II)
  • Related courses

Topical Outline


  • Kinds of composite structures
  • Behaviors of interest
  • Design issues
  • Materials selection and design


  • Fiber and matrix materials
  • Lamina micromechanics
  • Orthotropic and transversely-isotropic materials
  • Ply failure criteria; hygrothermal effects
  • Material property characterization
  • Classical lamination theory (A, B, D matrices)

Laminated Plates

  • Rectangular plates with different boundary conditions
  • Static response, elastic stability, natural vibration and damping
  • Energy methods and finite element analysis

Reinforced Shells

  • Reinforced skins
  • Sandwich structures
  • Transverse shear and normal deformation, higher-order theories
  • Static response, elastic stability, natural vibration and damping
  • Behavior of circular cylinders

Thin-Walled Composite Beams

  • Beams
  • Cylindrical bending
  • Closed section beams; non-classical effects
  • Elastic tailoring
  • Static response, elastic stability, natural vibration and damping

Special Topics

  • Manufacturing considerations
  • Joining
  • Impact tolerance
  • Inspection
  • Repair
  • Structural integrity
  • Controlled structures
  • Damping.


Problems 35% Projects 20% Midterm 20% Final Exam 20% Participation 5%

Additional course-related stuff:


Computer Tools

Composites-Related Links

Comments, questions, suggestions?

MAE 537 Mechanics of Composite Structures

3 Credit Hours

Material properties of fiber reinforced composite materials are derived from both micro-mechanical and macro-mechanical perspectives. Classical plate theory, failure theories, buckling and vibration of laminated plates are covered. Manufacturing techniques and experimental testing procedures are also introduced.


Undergraduate course in Strength of Mechanical Components or Aerospace Structures.

Course Objectives

This course serves as an introduction to the use of composite materials in modern structures. A brief background in the manufacturing and experimental testing of composites is given. The majority of the material covers the mechanics required to design composite laminated structures, including failure predictions.

Course Requirements

Exams and homework are required.

Examinations: One exam during the semester, One final exam.

Homework: Homework will be assigned on approximately a bi-weekly basis.

Software Requirements: Basic programming skills are required including the manipulation of matrices. FORTRAN, BASIC, C, C++, PASCAL, Mathematica, Maple, or MATLAB are acceptable.


I Daniel and O. Ishai, Engineering Mechanics of Composite Materials, second edition, Oxford University Press.


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