Numerical analysis of the effect of membrane preloads on the low-speed impact response of composite laminates

Ghelli, D.; Minak, G.
May 2010
Mechanics of Composite Materials;May2010, Vol. 46 Issue 3, p299
Academic Journal
This article presents a comprehensive study on the mechanical behaviour of composite laminated plates undergoing a low-speed impact of an external body while they are subjected to in-plane preloads. The effect of such preloading was investigated by means of finite-element analysis of several impact events on laminates with three different span-to-thickness ratios. Tensile and compressive preloads, both uniaxial and biaxial, were considered; in the case of compression, the impact on buckled specimens was also studied. The results obtained show that the span-to-thickness ratio is a fundamental parameter in determining the effect of initial strains. Under a tensile preload, the impact-caused peak stresses were higher than in the case of no preload, and their increment was higher in thicker laminates. Under compression, the most dangerous influence of initial stresses was found at medium span-to-thickness ratios for preloads comparable with the buckling load, whereas, in other cases, negligible or even beneficial effects were observed. These results can justify some experimental findings from the existing literature, even if they were obtained without modelling the material degradation due to damage. Also, they allow us to conclude that the explanation of other phenomena strictly related to damage, as well as an accurate prediction of the extent of damage, requires a failure model.


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