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International Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 8476041, 11 pages
Research Article

Numerical and Experimental Investigation of Wrinkling Pattern for Aerospace Laminated Membrane Structures

1Department of Civil Engineering, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200072, China
2School of Architectural Engineering, Quzhou University, Zhejiang 324000, China
3School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Wenjuan Yao

Received 1 October 2016; Revised 26 March 2017; Accepted 9 April 2017; Published 6 June 2017

Academic Editor: Christian Circi

Copyright © 2017 Yihong Hong et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Al-polymer laminated membranes are widely used in large aerospace structures. When the laminated membranes are pressurized, wrinkles emerge, which have an important effect on the performance of the structures during operation. This paper describes the numerical simulation and experimental investigation of wrinkles in laminated membranes. The nonlinear postbuckling analysis method, based on laminated thin-shell elements, was used to simulate the onset, growth, and final configuration of wrinkles when laminated membranes are subjected to external loads. The simulations are conducted with the ANSYS finite element package. Changing regularities of number, wavelength, and range for the wrinkles during the onset and growth processes are investigated. The wrinkles of laminated membranes with different design parameters such as material selection, ply number, ply angle, and ply mode are predicted. Devices that can be used to clamp and load laminated membranes in several load cases were designed and developed. A 3D photogrammetry system was constructed to characterize wrinkling patterns of laminated membranes subjected to shear displacement loads. By comparing the results of numerical analysis and experimental results, the accuracy of the numerical analysis method was verified. This study work is expected to inform wrinkling simulation and shape control of aerospace laminated membrane structures.