• Prof. Brian G. Falzon FRAeS
  • Prof. Brian G. Falzon FRAeS
  • Queen’s University Belfast, UK
  • Title: Predicting impact damage, compression-after-impact strength and crushing of carbon-fibre composite structures
  • Abstract:

    The accurate prediction of the response of composite structures to damage-inducing loads remains a formidable challenge owing to the ensuing complex damage mechanisms and their interactions. Consequently, the development of critical composite structures, such as the primary structure of the latest generation of passenger aircraft, requires extensive physical testing, which is costly and time consuming.

    Numerous studies have shown that low-velocity impact damage can significantly reduce the residual strength of a composite structure. The ability to predict the extent of impact damage and subsequent compression-after-impact (CAI) strength can potentially lead to the exploration of a larger design space without incurring the high costs and time commitment associated with physical testing. The capacity to assess a structure’s ability to absorb energy is also of significant interest in crashworthiness investigations. While such studies are required as part of the certification programme for aerostructures, crashworthiness is of primary importance in the design of automotive structures. Indeed, one of the major challenges facing the automotive industry as it looks towards the adoption of lightweight composite materials, besides the comparatively high manufacturing costs, is the ability to predict crashworthiness. While the automotive industry has been at the forefront in computationally predicting the crashworthiness of cars with a predominantly metallic passenger cabin, the same level of confidence in modelling composite passenger cabins does not exist.

    This paper presents a high-fidelity three-dimensional finite-element-based damage model, developed by the author and his research group to accurately predict impact damage, residual strength and the energy absorption associated with composite crushing. Numerical predictions are shown to agree well with experimental data available in the literature, without the need to ‘calibrate’ the input data required by the damage model, as is often reported in the literature to achieve a desired level of correlation.

  • Biography:

    Professor Brian G. Falzon holds the Royal Academy of Engineering – Bombardier Chair in Aerospace Composites at Queen’s University Belfast and is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. Between 2008 and 20012 he held the Foundation Chair in Aerospace Engineering at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, where he was also Director of Research and Deputy Head of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Between 1996 and 2008, Prof Falzon was at Imperial College London where he joined as a postdoctoral research fellow before becoming an academic staff member. He holds visiting professorships at both Imperial College London and Monash University. Prof Falzon graduated with a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Sydney in 1996 and was awarded the Golden Jubilee graduate prize for his research into postbuckling composite aerostructures. He also gained a Bachelor of Engineering in Aeronautical Engineering with first class honours and a Bachelor of Science with a double major in Physics and Pure Mathematics from the same University.

    Prof Falzon is internationally renowned for his work on the analysis, design, manufacture and testing of composite aerostructures. He has fostered extensive industry collaborations in Europe, Australia, India and China and has received research funding from the UK Ministry of Defence, EADS/Airbus, BAE Systems, QinetiQ/dstl, Shorts/Bombardier, the EPSRC, the Australian Research Council, Boeing Research and Technology Australia, the European Union, the Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Composite Structures (CRC-ACS), DSTO, CSIRO and Safran/Microturbo among others. He was on the Board of Directors of Aviation/Aerospace Australia (A/AA) until his departure from Australia. Prof Falzon is co-founder of Veryan Medical Limited, a company spin-off from Imperial College London, which is developing a revolutionary endoluminal stent.

    Prof Falzon has lead research groups in both the UK and Australia and has supervised a number of postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers. Upon his appointment at Monash University, Prof Falzon established the Advanced Aerostructures Research Group and set up an advanced composites laboratory. In 2008 Prof Falzon was awarded the George Taylor Prize by the Royal Aeronautical Society for the best paper published in 2007 in the design, construction, production and fabrication of aircraft structures.

    In 2009 Prof Falzon was honoured with an Australian Leadership Award, from the Australian Davos Connection and the 2009 Future Summit, in recognition of his contribution to issues of national importance and demonstrated leadership in his field. He is a Chartered Engineer and a member of a number of professional organisations and scientific committees. Between 2006 and 2009 he was a member of the EPSRC Peer Review College and in 2010 and 2012 he was selected to serve on the Research Evaluation Committee panel for the Australian Research Council’s Excellence in Research for Australia exercise which is equivalent to the UK’s REF.

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November 28-30, 2014
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August 12, 2014  >> October 17, 2014
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