A validation study of the Montana State University in-plane loader
Collett, Aaron Bruce
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Characterizing a polymer composite material's response to loading beyond the elastic region is less well defined than it is for other structural materials such as metals. The Naval Research Laboratory has developed a method that uses dissipated energy as a metric to facilitate this characterization. The method relies on empirical data from material strength tests as well as finite element analysis data to make the prediction. A substantial amount of empirical data from different loading conditions is needed to characterize a material. This warrants a testing machine that can apply several loading conditions simultaneously to a sample. Montana State University has built an In-Plane Loader capable of applying all three in-plane displacements to a sample of material: two translations and a rotation. Montana State University's In-Plane Loader requires validation testing to clearly define its precision, accuracy, and current usefulness. This study has found that the Montana State University's In-Plane Loader works well for test samples that are below a certain stiffness and that some test materials work better than others. The bounds of the current In-Plane Loader are established in this thesis and modifications are suggested.