Course Length: 5 days

Pre Requisites:

ES-2 Composite Laminate Analysis or equivalent engineering experience with laminate analysis.


This course the most advanced course in the Abaris Engineering Structures (ES) curriculum, and is intended for engineers who need to understand composite structural analysis at the highest level. ES-4 evaluates how the laminate in-plane and flexural stiffness and compliance properties are applied to both FEA and traditional analysis, as well as modulus weighted cross sections using composite laminates in moment of inertia calculations. The course progresses from strength of materials analysis, through equilibrium, to Work and Energy calculations using strain energy and strain energy density. ES-4 addresses the fifteen field equations and field variables for static analysis from a strain-displacement aspect. The course looks at load distribution throughout the entire structure with both traditional analysis and FEA, to allow engineers to analyze a composite structure as a whole without having to rely solely on FEA software, but provides a means to validate FEA models.


Advanced analysis methods for complex structures require the use of work and energy principles, which open the door to an entirely new family of calculations. Work and energy methods are in fact the same methods used in finite element analysis. The difference between what students will learn in this course, and what is available from FEA software is that the students will gain the ability to perform the analysis and actually see the calculations at work. They will also be able to compare this to a FEA program in class to validate their analysis. Many regulatory organizations, especially in aerospace, require computer FEA models to be verified with traditional analysis methods, where the actual calculations can be viewed and scrutinized. This course is designed to teach the engineer exactly how to do this in their own working environment.


Key Lecture Topics:

  • Distributed loads on laminated plates.
  • Buckling due to edge loads on laminated plates.
  • Vibration of laminated plates.
  • Idealization of advanced composite structures.
  • Shear flow and axial load calculation of open and closed structures.
  • Work and energy methods to analyze advanced structures.
  • Stiffness and flexibility approach to analyzing advanced structures.
  • Calculations used in discretized (finite) element methods.

Workshop Exercises:

  • Exercises on the application composite laminate analysis to the loads distributed with a composite structure.
  • Computer analysis and simulation of internal loads and the resulting deformations and failure evaluation within the composite laminate.
  • Hands-on fabrication and assembly of an advance composite structure that is instrumented and loaded to failure.
  • Comparison of traditional analysis methods to FEA software results.