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A Contact Based Method for 3D Delamination Analysis of Composites Subjected to Impact Loading


  • By: Sohail Forouzan-sepehr

  • Supervisor: Dr S Mohammadi

  • Major: Structural Engineering

  • Viva Date: 26 September 2001

  • Full Text: see Full Text (Farsi)

  • Research Report: see Report (Farsi, 1034KB)


Nowadays composite materials are widely used in manufacturing of aircrafts, helicopters, cars, satellite systems, etc. especially because of their lightness, high strength-to-weight ratio, good damping characteristics, and high fatigue strength. Therefore, having aircrafts larger than the Boeing 747 and faster than the Concorde are not only possible but also a reality.

Recent studies show that “delamination” and “matrix cracking” are the most dominant causes of damage in composites subjected to impact loading. Delamination highly increases the buckling risk and the local transverse impacts by adjacent plies increase stress concentration in the cracks corners. Therefore, the important role of the phenomena in reduction of bearing capacity and performance of structure necessitate an accurate analysis of initiation and propagation of interlaminar cracks and behaviour of the structure after cracking.

The aim of this study is to develop a reliable numerical method for 3D delamination modelling based on the principles of plasticity, contact mechanics and fracture mechanics. To do this, each ply or a group of similar plies is modelled with 3D solid elements. Outside the region that cracking risk exists, coarser solid or shell elements are used to reduce the analysis time. Special numerical methods are employed for connecting the two systems and maintaining the compatibility conditions at transition interfaces.

A contact based methodology is employed for modelling and controlling of plies bonding/debonding. The interlaminar behaviour in post delamination phase, such as slipping and crack faces interactions, is also considered by contact mechanics mechanisms. Employing an algorithm based on 3D contact mechanics in delamination analysis of composites is a novel technique and a more accurate and reliable analysis of this complex behaviour is expected to be obtained. In addition to 3D contact models, 3D anisotropic material models with strain softening behaviour are also developed and implemented to investigate 3D interlaminar crack propagation.


Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Elasto-plastic constitutive laws for composite laminates

Chapter 3: Interlaminar behaviour models of composites

Chapter 4: Computational analysis method

Chapter 5: Numerical studies

Chapter 6: Conclusions




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