Experimental Nonlinear Dynamics and Snap-Through of Post-Buckled Composite Plates

Conference paper
Part of the Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series book series (CPSEMS)


Modern aerospace systems are beginning to see the use of composite panels and plates to achieve light weight and specific strength and stiffness. For constrained panels, thermally-induced axial loading may cause buckling of the structure, which can lead to nonlinear and potentially chaotic behavior. When post-buckled composite plates experience snap-through, they are subjected to large-amplitude deformations and in-plane compressive loading. These phenomena pose a potential threat to the structural integrity of composite structures. In this work, the nonlinear dynamics of post-buckled composite plates are investigated. In the experiment, an electrodynamic shaker is used to directly control the harmonic loads and the digital image correlation (DIC) technique is used to capture the dynamic response. Both chaotic (intermittent) and periodic (persistent) steady-state snap-through behaviors are investigated. The experimental results are compared to numerical analysis from a theoretical model based on the classical laminated plate theory (CLPT) using the von Karman strain-displacement relations.


Nonlinear dynamics Snap-through Experimental mechanics Composite plates Post-buckled plates 



The authors wish to thank Stephen M. Spottswood for granting access to the Air Force Research Laboratory equipment, and David Ehrhardt, Michelle Hickner, Bill Kuykendall, and Minyong Lee for their assistance in the laboratory.


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© The Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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