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Dr Rikard Heslehurst

TOPIC: Delamination secondary behaviour under axial compressive loading

Author & Presenter: Dr Rikard Heslehurst, Director, Heslehurst & Associates Pty Ltd


Last year at the Australian Composites Conference-2016 a paper was presented on secondary bending stresses of delaminated composite structures under tensile loading.  In this paper the application of axial compression loads to delaminated composite structures is examined.  Under compression load around the delaminated region, induced secondary bending may improve or reduce the resistance to delamination buckling.  Single and multiple delamination can be analysed and resulting delamination behavior determined to assist with damage criticality assessment.

The laminate ply stacking sequence plays a very important role in determining the structural integrity of the delamination crack growth.   The stacking sequence of plies may actually close delamination cracks, but it could also decrease the critical axial buckling load.  This paper will show the mathematical model for developing the secondary bending stresses of delamination composite structures under axial compression loads.  Effects of ply orientation will be shown through sub-laminate stiffness ratios.

Keywords: Composites, Delaminations, Stress Analysis

Presenter’s resume

Rik Heslehurst has worked in the composites and adhesive bonding industry for more than 35 years.  He started his career as an aeronautical engineering officer in the RAAF with postings as an F/A-18 airworthiness engineer, and Officer In-Charge of the RAAF Materials and Process Engineering. More recently Rik retired as an academic with the University of New South Wales (UNSW) at the Australian Defence Force Academy where he lectured and conducted research in aircraft and airframe design and composite and bonded structures design and analysis.  Rik now runs his own consulting business and provides engineering and technical support for the fabricators association – Composites Australia.   Rik is also the Senior Engineer for two US companies. Rik also consults for several organisations; including Raytheon, NASA, USAF, Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Bombardier, Walt Disney Imagineering, and several other companies.  Rik obtained his Bachelor and Master’s degrees in aerospace engineering from the RMIT and his PhD from UNSW. Rik has been presenting courses and seminars around the world on the subject of composites and joint technologies.