Applied Composite Materials (v.23, #6)

Composite laminates are susceptible to the transverse impact loads resulting in significant damage such as matrix cracking, fiber breakage and delamination. In this paper, a micromechanical model is developed to predict the impact damage of composite laminates based on microstructure and various failure models of laminates. The fiber and matrix are represented by the isotropic and elastic-plastic solid, and their impact failure behaviors are modeled based on shear damage model. The delaminaton failure is modeling by the interface element controlled by cohesive damage model. Impact damage mechanisms of laminate are analyzed by using the micromechanical model proposed. In addition, the effects of impact energy and laminated type on impact damage behavior of laminates are investigated. Due to the damage of the surrounding matrix near the impact point caused by the fiber deformation, the surface damage area of laminate is larger than the area of ​​impact projectile. The shape of the damage area is roughly rectangle or elliptical with the major axis extending parallel to the fiber direction in the surface layer of laminate. The alternating laminated type with two fiber directions is more propitious to improve the impact resistance of laminates.
Keywords: Polymer-matrix composites; Laminates; Impact behavior; Damage mechanism; Micromechanical model

Tensile Properties and Failure Mechanism of a New 3D Nonorthogonal Woven Composite Material by Yu Wang; Jin Sun; Deng’an Cai; Guangming Zhou (1117-1135).
Tensile properties and failure mechanism of a newly developed three-dimensional (3D) woven composite material named 3D nonorthogonal woven composite are investigated in this paper. The microstructure of the composite is studied and the tensile properties are obtained by quasi-static tensile tests. The failure mechanism of specimen is discussed based on observation of the fracture surfaces via electron microscope. It is found that the specimens always split along the oblique yarns and produce typical v-shaped fracture surfaces. The representative volume cell (RVC) is established based on the microstructure. A finite element analysis is conducted with periodical boundary conditions. The finite element simulation results agree well with the experimental data. By analyzing deformation and stress distribution under different loading conditions, it is demonstrated that finite element model based on RVC is valid in predicting tensile properties of 3D nonorthogonal woven composites. Stress distribution shows that the oblique yarns and warp yarns oriented along the x direction carry primary load under x tension and that warp yarns bear primary load under y tension.
Keywords: 3D nonorthogonal woven composite; Microstructure; Failure mechanism; Representative volume cell

Analytically based model is presented for behavioral analysis of the plastic deformations in the reinforced materials using the circular (trigonometric) functions. The analytical method is proposed to predict creep behavior of the fibrous composites based on basic and constitutive equations under a tensile axial stress. New insight of the work is to predict some important behaviors of the creeping matrix. In the present model, the prediction of the behaviors is simpler than the available methods. Principal creep strain rate behaviors are very noteworthy for designing the fibrous composites in the creeping composites. Analysis of the mentioned parameter behavior in the reinforced materials is necessary to analyze failure, fracture, and fatigue studies in the creep of the short fiber composites. Shuttles, spaceships, turbine blades and discs, and nozzle guide vanes are commonly subjected to the creep effects. Also, predicting the creep behavior is significant to design the optoelectronic and photonic advanced composites with optical fibers. As a result, the uniform behavior with constant gradient is seen in the principal creep strain rate behavior, and also creep rupture may happen at the fiber end. Finally, good agreements are found through comparing the obtained analytical and FEM results.
Keywords: Creep; Composite

The Effects of Debonding on the Low-Velocity Impact Response of Steel-CFRP Fibre Metal Laminates by T. Pärnänen; A. Vänttinen; M. Kanerva; J. Jokinen; O. Saarela (1151-1166).
The effect of metal-composite debonding on low-velocity impact response, i.e. on contact force–central deflection response, deformation profiles and strains on the free surfaces was studied. We focused on type 2/1 fibre metal laminate specimens made of stainless steel and carbon fibre epoxy layers, and tested them with drop-weight impact and quasi-static indentation loadings. Local strains were measured with strain gauges and full-field strains with a 3-D digital image correlation method. In addition, finite element simulations were performed and the effects of debonding were studied by exploiting cohesive elements. Our results showed that debonding, either the initial debonding or that formed during the loading, lowers the slope of the contact force–central deflection curve during the force increase. The debonding formation during the rebound phase was shown to amplify the rebound of the impact side, i.e. to lower the ultimate post-impact deflection. The free surface strains were studied on the laminate’s lower surface at the area outside the debond damage. In terms of in-plane strains, debonding formation during impact and indentation, as well as the initial debonding, lowered the peripheral strain and resulted in a positive change in the radial strain.
Keywords: Fibre metal laminates; Hybrids; Impact behaviour; Debonding

Amine-grafted multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) based thermally conductive adhesive (TCA) was studied in the previous paper and applied here in thermal pyrolytic graphite (TPG)/Al radiator due to its high thermal conductivity, toughness and cohesiveness. In this paper, in an attempt to confirm the application of TCA to TPG/Al sandwich radiator, the thermodynamic response in TPG/Al sandwich composites associated with key material properties and structural design was investigated using finite element simulation with commercial available ANSYS software. The induced thermal stress in TCA layer is substantial due to the thermal expansion mismatch between Al plate and TPG. The maximum thermal stress is located near the edge of TCA layer with the von Mises stress value of 4.02 MPa and the shear stress value of 1.66 MPa. The reasonable adjustment of physical-mechanical properties including thermal conductivity, thermal expansion, Young,s modulus and the thickness of TCA layer, Al plate and TPG are beneficial for reducing the temperature of the top surface of the upper skin and their effects on the reduction of thermal structural response in some ways. These findings will highlight the structural optimization of TPG/Al radiator for future application.
Keywords: Finite element simulation; Thermodynamic response; Temperature distribution; Thermal stress; Structural optimization

Development of an Equivalent Composite Honeycomb Model: A Finite Element Study by G. Steenackers; J. Peeters; B. Ribbens; C. Vuye (1177-1194).
Finite element analysis of complex geometries such as honeycomb composites, brings forth several difficulties. These problems are expressed primarily as high calculation times but also memory issues when solving these models. In order to bypass these issues, the main goal of this research paper is to define an appropriate equivalent model in order to minimize the complexity of the finite element model and thus minimize computation times. A finite element study is conducted on the design and analysis of equivalent layered models, substituting the honeycomb core in sandwich structures. A comparison is made between available equivalent models. An equivalent model with the right set of material property values is defined and benchmarked, consisting of one continuous layer with orthotropic elastic properties based on different available approximate formulas. This way the complex geometry does not need to be created while the model yields sufficiently accurate results.
Keywords: Composite structures; Finite element analysis; Numerical modeling; Lightweight structures

Finite Element Simulation of Low Velocity Impact Damage on an Aeronautical Carbon Composite Structure by Roger Pierre Lemanle Sanga; Christian Garnier; Olivier Pantalé (1195-1208).
Low velocity barely visible impact damage (BVID) in laminated carbon composite structures has a major importance for aeronautical industries. This contribution leads with the development of finite element models to simulate the initiation and the propagation of internal damage inside a carbon composite structure due by a low velocity impact. Composite plates made from liquid resin infusion process (LRI) have been subjected to low energy impacts (around 25 J) using a drop weight machine. In the experimental procedure, the internal damage is evaluated using an infrared thermographic camera while the indentation depth of the face is measured by optical measurement technique. In a first time we developed a robust model using homogenised shells based on degenerated tri-dimensional brick elements and in a second time we decided to modelize the whole stacking sequence of homogeneous layers and cohesive interlaminar interfaces in order to compare and validate the obtained results. Both layer and interface damage initiation and propagation models based on the Hashin and the Benzeggagh-Kenane criteria have been used for the numerical simulations. Comparison of numerical results and experiments has shown the accuracy of the proposed models.
Keywords: Composite structure; Impact; Damage; Finite element method; BVID

Simulating Initial and Progressive Failure of Open-Hole Composite Laminates under Tension by Zhangxin Guo; Hao Zhu; Yongcun Li; Xiaoping Han; Zhihua Wang (1209-1218).
A finite element (FE) model is developed for the progressive failure analysis of fiber reinforced polymer laminates. The failure criterion for fiber and matrix failure is implemented in the FE code Abaqus using user-defined material subroutine UMAT. The gradual degradation of the material properties is controlled by the individual fracture energies of fiber and matrix. The failure and damage in composite laminates containing a central hole subjected to uniaxial tension are simulated. The numerical results show that the damage model can be used to accurately predicte the progressive failure behaviour both qualitatively and quantitatively.
Keywords: Fiber reinforced composite; Damage mechanics; Progressive failure analysis; Numerical simulation; UMAT

Influence of Copper Layer Content in the Elastic and Damping Behavior of Glass-Fiber/Epoxy-Resin Composites by V. H. Carneiro; P. Capela; J. C. Teixeira; S. Teixeira; F. Cerqueira; F. Macedo; L. Ribas; D. Soares (1219-1228).
The impact in the elastic behavior and internal friction, caused by the introduction of Copper layers in Glass-Fiber/Epoxy Resin composites and temperature effects, were studied and evaluated recurring to Dynamic Mechanical Analysis. It is shown that the introduction of Copper layers increases the storage modulus of the composites and delays their glass transition temperature, however, it allows a faster transformation. Additionally, it is concluded that the introduction of Copper layers elevates the internal friction during the glass transition phase by the inversion of the deformation mechanism due to thermal expansion and increase in the Poisson’s ratio of the epoxy resin to a value near 0.5 where its deformation is approximately isochoric. This increase in damping capacity is relevant in application with cyclic fatigue and mechanical vibration.
Keywords: DMA; Composite materials; Elastic properties; Electronic materials; Viscoelasticity