Composite Structures Laboratory
The quest to make aerostructures lighter has resulted in a variety of structural designs that encompass a combination of different materials. These multi-material structures (MMSs), which include continuous fiber reinforced laminates, textile laminates, textile composites for high temperature applications, layered materials, sandwich structures with a variety of cores (honeycombs, foams, truss grids, functionally graded materials), and nanoparticle reinforced polymers, require advanced analysis tools for characterizing their mechanical, thermal, and electrical behavior. In many instances, we find that examples from nature, like the nacre structure in sea shells, the composite character of soft biological tissues, and the grain patterns in wood, provide us clues and guidance to improve synthetic structures. A great deal of insight can be gleaned by studying and understanding nature structures. The development of validated analytical and computational methods to understand how a structure (such as an air-vehicle wing, a fuselage, the load bearing structure of a land-vehicle, the wing of an insect, a wind turbine blade) made of MMSs responds to external environments is the overarching goal of our research group. To achieve this goal, we perform a combination of experiments, computational modeling and analysis, and theoretical developments when necessary. Several external collaborators from other institutions and industry are partnering with us in achieving the goals of our group.
The Composite Structures Laboratory is headed by Prof. Anthony M. Waas, Boeing-Egtvedt Chair & Professor of Aerostructures, William E. Boeing Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics, University of Washington – Seattle.