Certification Methods for Composite Airframe Structures

Certification Methods for Composite Airframe Structures


Alleviate test burden by replacing some element and sub-component level tests with validated analysis tools

Why It Matters

  • Significant potential for reducing cost and time to certification of composite structure
  • Improved understanding of damage processes may help affect change in design philosophy and improve safety and efficiency of structure

Recent Accomplishments

  • Developed tests for analysis validation in collaboration with US industry
  • Developed standardized (coupon) tests for characterizing fracture in collaboration with ASTM
  • Developed methodology for benchmarking fracture analysis tools Used by NASA’s Composite Cryotank team for predicting safety margins prior to full-scale testing


  • NASA Langley Research Center
  • FAA Tech Center


  • National Institute of Aerospace
  • Boeing Commercial, Boeing Defense
  • University of Utah, NIAR at Wichita State
  • Professional societies: CMH-17, ASTM 030

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