The development of variable angle tow technology has attracted growing attention in recent years due to its strong potential for structural tailoring. However, the full details of the failure mechanisms of variable angle tow laminates have been as yet unknown, and the design complexity also requires use of numerical analysis and novel techniques for variable angle tow composites. This paper addresses the two main problems for use of variable angle tow laminates in design. Firstly, a mathematical model is presented to build a three-dimensional variable angle tow model which exactly captures the features of as manufactured variable angle tow laminates. Secondly, impact and compression after impact models using three-dimensional detailed finite element analyses are presented to predict the failure behaviour of variable angle tow laminates including delamination evolution and crack propagation. Results obtained from the impact and compres- sion after impact models are validated against experimental data.
- Bristol Composites Institute ACCIS