Numerical analysis of high velocity, oblique impacts and residual tensile strength of carbon/epoxy laminates

Ashwin R Kristnama*, Xiaodong Xu, Michael R Wisnom, Stephen R Hallett

*Corresponding author for this work

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

1 Citation (Scopus)
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This paper presents prediction of the high velocity, oblique impact response and quasi-static residual tensile strength of thin [45/90/-45/ 0]2s carbon/epoxy laminates using finite element (FE) models. A High-Fidelity Finite Element Method (Hi-FEM) with an automated unit cell meshing technique was employed. The predicted impact damage, characterised by the extent of fibre failure and delamination area, was validated against results from gas-gun tests for a range of impact velocities. The numerical results captured the trend of increasing impact damage with impact energy as observed from the tests. Changes in projectile orientation before impact were shown to increase the extent of fibre failure at high impact energies, up by 38% in edge impact cases. The residual tensile strength of the impacted laminates was then investigated, where the numerical results for edge-impacted laminates agreed with the test data within 8%. On the other hand, the residual strength modelling results of centre-impacted laminates were found to be, mainly due to the extent of fibre failure predicted during impact. Machined notches were also studied for their residual tensile strength in comparison to impact induced damage. The predicted strength of edge-notched laminates was found to be in close agreement with the experimental results for edge-impacted laminates, differing by an average of 9%.
Original languageEnglish
Article number113476
Number of pages12
JournalComposite Structures
Early online date30 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge support from Rolls-Royce plc for this research through the Composites University Technology Centre (UTC) at the University of Bristol and from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) through the Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Composites at the University of Bristol (Grant no. EP/L016028/1).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020


  • Laminate
  • Impact behaviour
  • Strength
  • Finite element analysis (FEA)
  • Notch


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