Composite Failures

Composites have a widespread use in airframe components and helicopter blades. DVI's Composite Experts have investigated accidents involving both of these uses. The failure behavior in composites is complex and can be influenced by the composition of the matrix and fibre, the fibre content, the nature of the interfacial bond, fibre orientation, stacking and sequence, void level, and type of loading. Possible failure modes include matrix cracking, fibre buckling, pull-out, and breaking, interfacial-bond failure, and delamination. Manufacturing defects could include voids, resin-rich zones, pockets of undispersed crosslinker, misaligned fibres, and regions of poorly wetted fibres. DVI's Composite Experts have designed and tested large complex composite structures for military applications, and has the experience and depth of knowledge to investigate and determine the cause of composite material failures.

Case Study: Failure of a Composite Wing Spar

DVI Aviation investigated the in-flight failure of a composite glider. The left wing separated at 3000 AGL. DVI’s Glider Pilot Expert, Composite Expert, and Aerodynamics Expert worked collaboratively to evaluate the failure of the composite spar, and reconstruct the accident flight path.