Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering


Dr. Faysal Kolkailah


A study was conducted to investigate simple, cost-effective manufacturing techniques to delay skin-core delamination, micro-buckling and bearing stress failures resulting from fastener-hole interactions. Composite sandwich panels, with and without damage arrestment devices (DADs), were subjected to monotonic compression at a rate of 5mm per second, and compression-compression fatigue at 50% yield at an amplitude of 65%, under temperatures of 75, 100, 125, 150, 175, and 200 °F.

The sandwiches tested were composed of two-layer cross-weave carbon fiber facesheets, a polyurethane foam core, and an epoxy film adhesive to join the two materials. The most successful method to delay the aforementioned failures involved milling rectangular slots in the foam core perpendicular to the holes and adding three additional layers of carbon fiber cross-weave. For the monotonic cases, the ultimate load increases were 97, 87, 100, 131, 96, and 119% for each of the respective temperatures listed above with a negligible weight increase. For the fatigue cases, the number of cycles for each test case was nearly identical. This still represents a large improvement because the yield used in the loading condition for the specimens with DADs was 97% greater than the specimens without DADs.

The experimental results were compared with a finite element model (FEM) built in Abaqus/CAE. The numeric and experimental results showed a strong correlation. All test specimens were manufactured and tested in the California Polytechnic State University Aerospace/Composites Laboratory.