Impact damage in composite aircraft structures experimental testing and numerical simulation

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63 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes a strategy for predicting internal damage in a laminated composite structure, when subjected to low-velocity impact. The aim was to obtain a better understanding of and cure for the notorious reduction in strength of aircraft compression panels when they suffered barely visible impact damage (BVID). A finite element model is presented which incorporates the non-linear behaviour due to gross deformation, interlaminar delamination and in-plane fibre and matrix failure. The strategy is validated by impact tests for a wide range of carbon/epoxy composite structures ranging from small stiff plates to realistic aircraft compression panels. It is demonstrated that the finite element model is capable of predicting impact damage in laminated composite structures and thus could be used as a design tool
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-259
Number of pages15
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineering: Part G: Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • composite structures
  • low-velocity impact
  • delamination
  • finite element simulation


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