MECHANICS OF COMPOSITE MATERIALS
Autar Kaw, University of South Florida
Table of Contents
Google Search the Book
WHAT IS PROMAL?
PROMAL (Program for Micromechanical and Macromechanical Analysis of Laminates) is an interactive software tool used to complement (not supplement) the senior level course -- Introduction to Mechanics of Composite Materials. The objectives are the following:
It is used to conduct parametric studies which are shown both in tabular and graphical form. Many a times students ask "what if" questions and the
instructor can now readily answer of those questions now.
Since the present generation is more "hands on" type, the class is held in a computer laboratory once a week. This allows students to carry their own numerical experiments. In the last month of the class, the software is used heavily to do open-ended design problems. The final examination is a
take-home real life design problem.
Several computational problems are solved using the software. Most problems are open ended and students come up with several answers. Simple designs of pressure vessels and leaf springs do not take more than ten minutes to work out with the PROMAL program, which would otherwise take several hours by using a calculator. The computer program still maintains the student's need to think about the various inputs to the program to get an optimum design. At the end of the exercise, students and Dr. Kaw discuss not only the various design alternatives but also how students think differently.