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Comparison of low velocity impact modelling techniques for thermoplastic and thermoset polymer composites

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-671
Number of pages13
JournalComposite Structures
Early online date17 Jul 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 16 Jul 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 17 Jul 2018
DatePublished (current) - 1 Nov 2018


This paper presents comparisons between experimental and numerical studies of low-velocity impact damage for thermoplastic (IM7/PEEK) and thermoset (IMS65/MTM) carbon fibre reinforced composites. The experiments were conducted at two key impact energies (8 and 30 J) under identical conditions allowing a systematic comparison to be made. Three LS-DYNA Finite Element Analysis (FEA) models (standard, continuum damage mechanics (CDM) and discrete) were implemented, all using cohesive interface elements for delamination. The role of Mode II fracture toughness is highlighted. The predictive capabilities of different modelling techniques are compared and discussed and the CDM model gave better correlation with experiments. Fibre failure was predicted by the numerical approaches. The thermoplastic materials did not show noticeably superior behaviour to the thermoset materials and were governed by unstable delamination damage propagation for the same impact energy.

    Research areas

  • Composite, Finite Element Analysis (FEA), Low-velocity impact, Thermoplastic, Thermoset

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    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Elsevier at . Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 1.79 MB, PDF document

    Licence: CC BY-NC-ND


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