"Development of predictive numerical tools for the failure of composite structures under impact loadings"
Impact events on composites are a major concern among designers and manufacturers. These types of events may lead to direct failure of the material, but also to Barely Visible Impact Damage (BVID) of the composite components. In the latter case, even though the visible damage might only be reduced to a small chip or dent, substantial internal damage (matrix and interlaminar cracks as well as fiber failure) can be expected beneath this dent. As a consequence, in addition to potentially leading to direct failure of the component, foreign object impacts can also indirectly significantly lower structural strength.
Traditional design methods do not address this kind of accidental events, possibly for two main reasons. Firstly, because these scenarios are not seen as critical as other more standardized design threats, and secondly because the available numerical tools are not sufficiently well developed to predict with reliability this potential initiation of damage. Such understanding is nevertheless critical to the design and manufacturing competitiveness of the composite industry. In particular, a need to develop impact damage resistant structures from novel textile reinforced composites has been identified by the Swedish partners.
Through this 36 months collaboration between SMEs and Research Organisations of two countries with strong expertise in composite design and manufacturing – namely Spain and Sweden –, we propose here to improve drastically the current numerical tools to a new level of prediction for internal damages caused by impact events in composite components. These state-of-the-art experimentally calibrated damage models will ultimately provide the industry with a new set of dedicated numerical tools and methodologies not currently accessible in the market.
Partners: The research consortium is led by IMDEA Materials Institute and PRINCIPIA (Spanish SME). The other partners are APC Composite (Swedish SME), Swerea SICOMP (Swedish Research Center) and UPM (Polytechnic University of Madrid, Spain).
Funding Organisation: ERA-Net SME (IMADE-PIE), 7th Framework Programme
Project Period: 2010-2013
Principal Investigator: Dr. Antoine Jerusalem