Soft body impact on composites: Delamination experiments and advanced numerical modelling

Jagan Selvaraj*, Luiz F Kawashita , Mehdi Yasaee, Gordon Kalwak, Stephen R Hallett

*Corresponding author for this work

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


Cohesive interface elements have become commonly used for modelling composites delamination. However, a limitation of this technique is the fine mesh size required. Here, a novel cohesive element formulation is proposed and demonstrated for modelling the numerical cohesive zone with equal fidelity but fewer elements in comparison to a linear cohesive element formulation. The newly proposed formulation has additional degrees of freedom in the form of nodal rotations which when combined with the use of multiple integration points per cohesive element, allows for delamination propagation to be modelled with increased stability. This element formulation is introduced with an adaptive modelling method, termed Adaptive Mesh Segmentation (AMS). To demonstrate its effectiveness under impact loading the new model is applied to a soft body beam bending test. This test, containing a delamination pre-crack, uses inertial constraints and results in a dynamic stress state when impacted by a gelatin cylinder.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108777
Number of pages8
JournalComposites Science and Technology
Early online date20 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by 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 ). The authors would also like to acknowledge Rolls-Royce plc for their support of this research through the Composites University Technology Centre (UTC) at the University of Bristol .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Impact behaviour
  • Delamination
  • Finite element analysis (FEA)
  • Cohesive element formulation


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