Carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRPs) are lightweight, yet strong and durable, materials with potential applications in aerospace and transportation. However, time-consuming experiments are required during their design phase, which is expensive. In a recent study, researchers have developed a quasi-3D extend finite element method, a new and computationally efficient approach to simulate damage propagation in CFRP laminates. Their method could make the CFRP laminates more accessible.

Structural materials with useful mechanical properties have applications in a diverse range of fields. A reliable way to enhance the properties of structural materials is to make them lighter without compromising their strength. Carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRPs) are perhaps the most prominent example of this approach. These plastics are made up of tiny, yet extremely strong threads of carbon atoms held together by a plastic matrix. Owing to their low weight, high durability, and exceptional mechanical performance, CFRP laminates are being incorporated into state-of-the-art aerospace applications, transportation, and construction. However, designing CFRP laminates can be a very time-consuming endeavor. Engineers must run multiple strength tests to benchmark CFRP specimens whenever they adjust a given design. This drives up the cost of the final product and hinders the applications of CFRPs in a wider range of fields.

A faster and cheaper testing process has been discovered by a duo of researchers, Dr. Chenyu Wang, a former PhD student at the Graduate School of Sophia University, and Professor Toshio Nagashima from Sophia University.

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