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Static and high-rate loading of single and multi-bolt carbon-epoxy aircraft fuselage joints

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-11-23, 11:28 authored by Brian Egan, Conor Mc CarthyConor Mc Carthy, Michael A. McCarthy, P.J. Gray, Ronan M. O'Higgins
Single-lap shear behaviour of carbon epoxy composite bolted aircraft fuselage joints at quasi-static and dynamic (5 m/s and 10 m/s) loading speeds is studied experimentally. Single and multi-bolt joints with countersunk fasteners were tested. The initial joint failure mode was bearing, while final failure was either due to fastener pull-through or fastener fracture at a thread. Much less hole bearing damage, and hence energy absorption, occurred when the fastener(s) fractured at a thread, which occurred most frequently in thick joints and in quasi-static tests. Fastener failure thus requires special consideration in designing crashworthy fastened composite structures; if it can be delayed, energy absorption is greater. A correlation between energy absorption in multi-bolt and single-bolt joint tests indicates potential to downsize future test programmes. Tapering a thin fuselage panel layup to a thicker layup at the countersunk hole proved highly effective in achieving satisfactory joint strength and energy absorption.


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Composities Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing;53, pp. 97-108





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This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Composities Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing 2013, 53, pp. 97-108,



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  • Irish Centre for Composites Research (IComp)

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