Finite Element Analysis of the Impact Response of Composite Structures


  1. Montemurro, M.P.
  2. Houde, M.J.L.
  3. Hansen, J.S.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Valcartier, Valcartier QUE (CAN);Toronto Univ, Toronto ONT (CAN) Inst for Aerospace Studies
Since composite laminates are increasingly used in light weight structures, it is important to predict response and damage for a variety of load cases. From a practical point of view, impact of a composite structure by a foreign object is perhaps one of the most dangerous types of load. This is particularly true at low and medium impact energies where damage is difficult to detect and if undetected, could cause catastrophic failure in later operation. Current codes modelling impact separate the structural response from the damage analysis. In the present work, a finite element which simultaneously models impact and progressive damage is presented. Impact is modelled using a Hertzian-based contact law. A mesh optimization scheme is presented to minimize discretization error and improve the damage prediction. A progressive damage model is implemented using a collapse load approach where each mode of failure is assumed to have a characteristic failure criterion. The results of an experimental study are used to examine the behaviour of composite plates subjected to impact and to validate the numerical model. It is shown that the Finite Element model is able to predict global flexural response and damage but is limited in predicting local contact effects. Numerical results show that damage is not initiated by high contact loads but by high inertial stresses at the onset of impact. The code developed in this work provides a useful and practical tool for impact analysis of advanced
Report Number
DRDC-VALCARTIER-CR-2006-657 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 Aug 1993
Number of Pages
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk

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