Quantifying the Influence of Lightning Strike Pressure Loading on Composite Specimen Damage

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Experimental work has shown that a component of lightning strike damage is caused by a mechanical loading. As the profile of the pressure loading is unknown a number of authors propose different pressure loads, varying in form, application area and magnitude. The objective of this paper is to investigate the potential contribution of pressure loading to composite specimen damage. This is achieved through a simulation study using an established modelling approach for composite damage prediction. The study examines the proposed shockwave loads from the literature. The simulation results are compared with measured test specimen damage examining the form and scale of damage. The results for the first time quantify the significance of pressure loading, demonstrating that although a pressure load can cause damage consistent with that measured experimentally, it has a negligible contribution to the overall scale of damage. Moreover the requirements for a pressure to create the damage behaviours typically witnessed in testing requires that the pressure load be within a very precise window of magnitude and loading area.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Composite Materials
Early online date10 Apr 2018
Publication statusEarly online date - 10 Apr 2018


  • Lightning Strike
  • Pressure Loading
  • Composite damage
  • Finite Element Modelling


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