Predicting low-velocity impact damage on a stiffened composite panel

A. Faggiani, B.G. Falzon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

247 Citations (Scopus)


An intralaminar damage model, based on a continuum damage mechanics approach, is presented to model the damage mechanisms occurring in carbon fibre composite structures incorporating fibre tensile and compressive breakage, matrix tensile and compressive fracture, and shear failure. The damage model, together with interface elements for capturing interlaminar failure, is implemented in a finite element package and used in a detailed finite element model to simulate the response of a stiffened composite panel to low-velocity impact. Contact algorithms and friction between delaminated plies were included, to better simulate the impact event. Analyses were executed on a high performance computer (HPC) cluster to reduce the actual time required for this detailed numerical analysis. Numerical results relating to the various observed interlaminar damage mechanisms, delamination initiation and propagation, as well as the model’s ability to capture post-impact permanent indentation in the panel are discussed. Very good agreement was achieved with experimentally obtained data of energy absorbed and impactor force versus time. The extent of damage predicted around the impact site also corresponded well with the damage detected by non destructive evaluation of the tested panel.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)737-749
Number of pages13
JournalComposites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
Issue number6
Early online date16 Feb 2010
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites


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