Improved impact damage resistance of tapered composite laminates using a ply scarfing technique

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an experimental investigation into the effect of scarfed ply drops on the low velocity impact response of asymmetrically tapered, multi-directional, carbon/epoxy laminates, in comparison with that of conventional ply drops. Impact load was applied to the flat side of the tapered region at an energy level of 12 J. The effect of ply scarfing on the internal damage evolution during impact was then investigated using X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) scanning. It was found that the scarfed ply drops reduced stress concentrations at the terminated plies and effectively prevented fibre breakage compared to non-scarfed conventional ply drops. Furthermore, the laminates with scarfed ply drops exhibited less delamination and a lower degree of internal matrix cracking than those with conventional ply drops, and thus were deemed more damage resistant despite having near identical external damage.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107391
JournalComposites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
Early online date20 Dec 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the EPSRC project “Novel Tow Termination for High-Quality AFP Production of Composite Structures with Blended Ply Drop-offs” (EP/P027288/1) and the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) grant (EP/L016028/1).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022


  • carbon fibres
  • impact behaviour
  • delamination
  • non-destructive testing
  • ply drop


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