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High-performance bio-inspired composite T-joints

Akrami, Roya; Fotouhi, Sakineh; Fotouhi, Mohamad; Bodaghi, Mahdi; Clamp, Joseph; Bolouri, Amir


Roya Akrami

Sakineh Fotouhi

Mohamad Fotouhi

Mahdi Bodaghi

Joseph Clamp

Amir Bolouri
Associate Professor in Manufacturing


© 2019 Elsevier Ltd This paper introduces a novel bio-inspired design strategy based on the optimised topology of bird bone's joint to improve the strength-to-weight ratio and damage tolerance of composite T-joints. Better structuring the constituents' materials near the sharp bends results in re-distribution of stress over a larger area and reduces the stress concentration. This is done by an integrally formed support structure that is spaced apart from the main body of the T-joint in the vicinity of the bend using a Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) foam. The support structure acts as a buttress across the bend and improves the performance of the T-joint. The T-joints are fabricated using wet layup process, from 2/2 twill TC35-carbon fibre fabric/SR5550 epoxy resin, and are subjected to quasi-static and fatigue bending, and quasi-static tensile pull-out tests. The quasi-static results reveal that the bio-inspired T-joint design has huge improvements compared to a conventional T-joint in the elastic stiffness (over 60%), peak load (over 40%) and absorbed mechanical energy (over 130%). There is only 3% weight increase in the bio-inspired T-joint compared to the conventional one. The fatigue results show a significant improvement for the bio-inspired design proving the efficiency of the novel bio-inspired design for both quasi-static and cyclic loadings.


Akrami, R., Fotouhi, S., Fotouhi, M., Bodaghi, M., Clamp, J., & Bolouri, A. (2019). High-performance bio-inspired composite T-joints. Composites Science and Technology, 184, Article 107840.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 28, 2019
Online Publication Date Sep 28, 2019
Publication Date Nov 10, 2019
Deposit Date Oct 7, 2019
Publicly Available Date Sep 29, 2020
Journal Composites Science and Technology
Print ISSN 0266-3538
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 184
Article Number 107840
Keywords General Engineering; Ceramics and Composites; T-joint; Composite; Bio-inspired; Bending; Pull-out; Fatigue
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