Computational Mechanics of Fracture on Advanced Composite Aerospace Structures

Supervisor: Dr Jose Luis Curiel Sosa

Over the last decade there has been a significant increase in the use of composite laminates in the aerospace industry in a drive to reduce weight and as a result to reduce emissions. Due to the nature of the industry, stringent testing of components is required. This is an expensive task, requiring a large number of tests to achieve certification, and is complicated further by the nature of anisotropic materials.

The goal of this research is to use finite element methods to develop computational models which can accurately replicate behaviour to complement physical testing, in order to reduce the cost and time involved in testing. However, finite element analyses are very expensive in terms of computational cost if extensive remeshing is necessary, as in the case of dynamic crack propagation. The relatively new Extended Finite Element Method (XFEM) solves this problem however, as no remeshing is necessary.

This PhD aims to investigate, by means of the Extended Finite Element Method (XFEM), the mechanisms of fracture and crack propagation in advanced composite structures such as fibre metal laminates (FML) used in the aerospace industries.

Please contact Dr Jose Luis Curiel Sosa ( for further information

Apply online