Low-velocity impact tests on carbon/epoxy composite laminates: A benchmark study
Article dans une revue avec comité de lecture
JournalComposites Part B: Engineering
Low-velocity impacts (LVI) on composite laminates pose significant safety issues since they are able to generate extended damage within the structure, mostly delaminations and matrix cracking, while being hardly detectable in visual inspections. The role of LVI tests at the coupon level is to evaluate quantities that can be useful both in the design process, such as the delamination threshold load, and in dealing with safety issues, that is correlating the internal damage with the indentation depth. This paper aims at providing a benchmark of LVIs on quasi-isotropic carbon/epoxy laminates; 2 laminates are tested, 16 and 24 plies and a total of 8 impact energies have been selected ranging from very low energy impacts up to around 30 J. Delamination threshold loads, shape and extension of délaminations as well as post-impact 3D measurements of the impacted surface have been carried out in order to characterize the behavior of the considered material system in LVIs. The analysis of test results relevant to the lowest energies pointed out that large contact force fluctuations, typically associated to delamination onset, occurred but ultrasonic scans did not reveal any significant internal damage. Due to these unexpected results, such tests were further investigated through a detailed FE model. The results of this investigation highlights the detrimental effects of the dissipative mechanisms of the impactor. A combined numericale-experimental approach is thus proposed to evaluate the effective impact energies.
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