Experimental Validation of an Additively Manufactured Stiffness-Optimized Short-Fiber Reinforced Composite Clevis Joint

Y. Saito, F. Fernandez, D. A. Tortorelli, W. S. Compel, J. P. Lewicki, J. Lambros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This effort describes experiments for the validation of the response of an additively manufactured stiffness-optimized short-fiber reinforced composite. A Direct Ink Write (DIW) method is used to additively manufacture a clevis joint plate which was designed such that its compliance would be minimized (i.e., stiffness maximized) for far-field axial loading. A unique aspect of the optimization scheme is that it accounts for manufacturing constraints, such as tool turn radius and tool path spacing. Along with the optimized clevis joint plate, additively manufactured 0°–90° and ± 45° composite plates of the same number of layers, as well as a control 0°–90° sample of resin only, were also studied. In addition to far-field load-displacement, near-field strain was monitored using digital image correlation (DIC). The results showed that the optimized plate did indeed exhibit the largest stiffness, based on far-field measurements. DIC-measured strains showed that locally the axial strain component, which is the largest, was also minimized for the optimized specimen, although the other strain components followed different trends. Furthermore, in the experiments it was seen that the optimized design exhibited a nonlinear/hysteretic behavior which is believed to be a consequence of its internal gap/cell structure. This internal structure, which results by optimized placement of material, although explicitly not accounted for in the optimization, may affect global response. Finally, although not a part of the optimization study itself, the failure load for the optimized joint plate was also seen to be the largest of all the cases studied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)859-869
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Mechanics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 15 2019


  • Additive manufacturing
  • Clevis joint plate
  • Direct ink writing
  • Manufacturing constraints
  • Optimization
  • Validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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