It's beeen a while since we have waxed theoretical. In this blog-post from January we explore some of the benefits and weaknesses of the empirically-minded approaches to composites analysis. Enjoy.
In a previous blog, we talked about the importance of learning from failure in materials testing. For better or worse, theoreticians have, in some ways, tried taken the burden of “learning from failure” off the plate of the common engineer. Instead, they try to capture the insights gained from failure into flexible analytical theories; theories that (theoretically) allow us to predict a parts behavior, without knowing anything more than some material properties and part dimensions. In computer science, this is known as abstraction.
The question is, Can composite failure theories sufficiently abstract all the nuance out of composites design? Do you need to understand the origins of a failure theory in order to use it properly?