A point-wise approach to the analysis of complex composite structures using digital image correlation and thermoelastic stress analysis

G. Crammond, Janice M Barton, Stephen W Boyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
173 Downloads (Pure)


Thermoelastic Stress Analysis (TSA) and Digital Image Correlation (DIC) are used to examine the stress and strain distributions around the geometric discontinuity in a composite double butt strap joint (DBSJ). A well-known major limitation in conducting analysis using TSA is that it provides a metric that is only related to the sum of the principal stresses and cannot provide the component stresses/strains. The stress metric is related to the thermoelastic response by a combination of material properties known as the thermoelastic constant (coefficient of thermal expansion divided by density and specific heat). The thermoelastic constant is usually obtained by a calibration process. For calibration purposes when using orthotropic materials it is necessary to obtain the thermoelastic constant in the principal material directions, as the principal stress directions for a general structure are unknown. Often it is assumed that the principal stress directions are coincident with the principal material directions. Clearly, this assumption is not valid in complex stress systems and therefore a means of obtaining the thermoelastic constants in the principal stress directions is required. Such a region is that in the neighbourhood of the discontinuities in a bonded lap joint. A methodology is presented which employs a point wise manipulation of the thermoelastic constants from the material directions to the principal stress directions using full field DIC strain data obtained from the neighbourhood of the discontinuity. A comparison of stress metrics generated from the TSA and DIC data is conducted to provide an independent experimental validation of the 2D DIC analysis. The accuracy of a 2D plane strain finite element model representing the joint is assessed against the two experimental data sets. Excellent agreement is found between the experimental and numerical results apart from in the adhesive layer; the adhesive is the only component of the joint where the material properties were not obtained experimentally. The reason for the discrepancy is discussed in the paper
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-323
Number of pages13
Issue number4
Early online date11 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015


  • adhesive bonding
  • composite
  • digital image correlation
  • materials
  • thermoelastic stress analysis


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