The accuracy of any finite element analysis prediction is only as good as the mechanical material properties that are defined. Other aspects such as geometry, loads and boundary conditions are also critical, but the properties of the material perhaps still include the highest degree of uncertainty.
Property testing is difficult enough with metals, but composite materials pose additional challenges due to their orthotropic nature and variability due to processing consistency. Ideally sufficient property testing should be undertaken to have a reliable statistical confidence in the material allowables.
Any composite material is a matrix/reinforcement system, which is affected by construction (weave etc.) fibre sizing and cure-cycle variables. The specific combination for a given application may not have been tested before. Data for a material that is provided by a supplier from different processing conditions cannot be relied on.
Structured testing can efficiently yield material property information to a level where design confidence can satisfy the most stringent of regulatory environments including aerospace structures.
At the appropriate point in the design process, Engenuity can specify and commission static testing to acquire the necessary material properties for use in the finite element analysis calculations.