This thesis utilized a linear analytical approach to explore the damage tolerance or residual strength as a function of increasing damage in traditional single and hybrid-grid IsoTruss® structures. Residual strength was studied for structures subjected to axial compression, torsion and flexural bending, independently. Carbon/epoxy material properties were applied in all load cases, and fiberglass/epoxy material properties were also applied in the flexural bending case. Prior to imposing damage conditions, the IsoTruss® structures were parametrically optimized to achieve the highest strength-to-weight ratios. Typical compression strut, driveshaft, and utility pole specifications governed the design strength dimensions and boundary conditions. Damage growth was achieved by removing members from IsoTruss® structures progressively about the circumference in a symmetrical manner. The sequence of member removal, beginning with primary or secondary members, was examined, and is described as primary and secondary analyses. ABAQUS finite element analysis was employed to quantify the residual strength of each IsoTruss® configuration. Reduction in residual strength trends are compared to net section strength, which assumes a linear relationship between damage size and residual strength. Results indicate that the 6-node IsoTruss® configuration is the most damage tolerant structure in the sense that the 6-node configuration deviates the least from the net section strength. As more nodes are added, IsoTruss® structures behave more like a composite tube, exhibiting a brittle behavior characterized by an increase in strength reduction for a given damage size. Bending results reveal that carbon fiber IsoTruss® structures are more damage tolerant under primary bending conditions than fiberglass poles. On the other hand, fiberglass IsoTruss® poles prove to be more damage tolerant under secondary bending conditions than carbon fiber structures. Most importantly, however, hybrid-grid IsoTruss® poles are definitively more optimal structures than single-grid poles in terms of both strength-to-weight ratio and damage tolerance. The results and conclusions from this thesis provide benchmark capacities for mechanically manufactured IsoTruss® structures. Also included in this thesis is documentation of a special program written to analyze IsoTruss® structures.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





IsoTruss® structures, composite grid structures, damage tolerance, residual strength, damage progression