Structural members having enhanced load bearing capacity per unit mass include a skeleton structure formed from strips of material. Notches may be placed on the strips and a weave of tensile material placed in the notches and woven around the skeleton structure. At least one pair of structural members can be jointed together to provide very strong joints due to a weave patterns of tensile material, such as Kevlar, that distributes stress throughout the structure, preventing stress from concentrating in one area. Methods of manufacturing such structural members include molding material into skeletons of desired cross section using a matrix of molding segments. Total catastrophic failures in composite materials are substantially avoided and the strength to weight ratio of structures can be increased.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERAL RIGHTS
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC52-06NA25396, awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.