A pressure box test fixture was designed and fabricated to evaluate the effects of internal pressure, biaxial tension loads, curvature, and damage on the fracture response of composite fuselage structure. Previous work in composite fuselage tension damage tolerance, performed during NASA contract NAS1-17740, evaluated the above effects on unstiffened panels only. This work extends the tension damage tolerance testing to curved stiffened fuselage crown structure that contains longitudinal stringers and circumferential frame elements. The pressure box fixture was designed to apply internal pressure up to 20 psi, and axial tension loads up to 5000 lb/in, either separately or simultaneously. A NASTRAN finite element model of the pressure box fixture and composite stiffened panel was used to help design the test fixture, and was compared to a finite element model of a full composite stiffened fuselage shell. This was done to ensure that the test panel was loaded in a similar way to a panel in the full fuselage shell, and that the fixture and its attachment plates did not adversely affect the panel.
NASA. Langley Research Center, Third NASA Advanced Composites Technology Conference, Volume 1, Part 2; p 789-805