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A New Composite Structure Impact Performance Assessment Program

A New Composite Structure Impact Performance Assessment Program

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Published by: Kiriku Eta Basapiztiak on Sep 21, 2012
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A new composite structure impact performance assessment program
q
Paolo Feraboli
a,*
, Keith T. Kedward
b,1
a
Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Box 352400, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-2400, United States
b
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California at Santa Barbara, CA 93106, United States
Received 2 June 2005; accepted 27 September 2005Available online 14 November 2005
Abstract
While previous researchers have conducted their study on the relative impact performance of composite structures from a force or anenergy standpoint only, this proposed Composite Structure Impact Performance Assessment Program (CSIPAP) suggests a multi-param-eter methodology to gain further insight in the impact behavior of composite structures. These are peak and critical force; critical anddissipated energy; contact duration and coefficient of restitution (COR), which is direct indication of effective structural stiffness; andresidual stiffness (normalized contact duration) which yields a plot that bears a striking resemblance with the normalized CompressionAfter Impact (CAI) strength. Using a determinate impactor/target system as baseline configuration, the program is applied toward theunderstanding of the role played in an impact event by fundamental impactor and target parameters. The equations previously derivedfor the prediction of the force–energy and residual stiffness curves are shown to apply to the configurations tested, thus confirming theirgeneral validity. A modification to the existing effective structural stiffness formulation, which does not account for impactor character-istics, is proposed, and it comprises the impactor material, size and mass characteristics.
Ó
2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords:
B. Impact behavior; Damage resistance; C. Damage tolerance; C. Delamination
1. Introduction
1.1. Purpose of the research
An extensive literature review has indicated that manyquestions still surround the impact response of compositeplates. Particularly the ongoing debate on whether a forceor energy based criterion should be used to compareimpact test results on different configurations, and whetherforce or energy should be employed to uniquely and satis-factorily assess the state of damage in the composite target.Interesting phenomena were observed in[1–3]in theattempt to address these issues, and a new methodologyis here suggested in order to fully benefit of all the informa-tion available from an impact test.The present research has the double purpose of provingthe importance of characterizing the impact performanceof a composite target by means of multiple parameters,as suggested in this new Composite Structures Impact Per-formance Assessment Program (CSIPAP), as well as of ver-ifying its validity by applying it to specific parametricstudies in order to determine the influence of test configu-rations on the impact response of composite structures.The proposed CSIPAP is based on the simultaneous anal-ysis of five plots, namely the Force, Energy, Coefficient of Restitution (COR), Contact Duration and Residual Stiff-ness plots, to fully and satisfactorily address the relativeimpact performance of composite targets.In order to build these plots, a specific test matrix has tobe employed. It is constituted of three consecutive impacttests, which are performed on each specimen and for eachstructural configuration. These three tests are, in chrono-
0266-3538/$ - see front matter
Ó
2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.doi:10.1016/j.compscitech.2005.09.009
q
The first part of the research was published in the AIAA Journal 42/10,2004, while the overall research was awarded the ‘‘2004 American Societyfor Composites Ph.D. Research Award’’.
*
Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 206 543 2170; fax: +1 206 543 0217.
E-mail addresses:
1
Tel.: +1 805 893 3381.
www.elsevier.com/locate/compscitech
Composites Science and Technology 66 (2006) 1336–1347
COMPOSITESSCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 
 
logical order, subcritical, supercritical and again subcriticalin nature. The importance of the first test is to record thepristine contact duration and COR of an elastic impactevent, which gives a direct measure of the effective struc-tural stiffness of the target. The second test, which has tobe performed at different impact energy levels, has the sig-nificance of introducing a progressively increasing amountof damage in the specimen. This test allows for the record-ing of the critical and peak force values, the critical and dis-sipated energy values, as well as contact duration andCOR. The third and last test, which is again elastic in nat-ure, has the purpose of recording the postfailure (damaged)contact duration of the impulse. Altogether the data thuscollected enables the building of the five plots that charac-terize this proposed CSIPAP, which fully characterizes theimpact behavior of a particular structure, and supply themeans for an effective parametric investigation.A summary of the nomenclature previously introducedand used in the present discussion is given:
Impact energy – impactor
Õ
s incident kinetic energy intro-duced in the plate.
Peak force – maximum recorded load.
Critical force – value of the load at which a first changeof stiffness in the material occurs, also denoted as delam-ination threshold.
Critical energy – value of the impact energy correspond-ing to the critical force.
Dissipated energy – amount of energy dissipated indamage mechanisms and therefore not restituted to therebounding impactor.
Coefficient of restitution – ratio of exit to impact veloc-ities or, equivalently, ratio of the square root of exit toimpact energies.
Total contact duration – resident time of the impactoron the target.
Subcritical (or elastic) impact events – range of impactenergy values below damage threshold.
Supercritical impact events – range of impact energy val-ues above threshold.The great advantage of using a multi-parameter approachrather than a single metric to characterize the impact dam-age resistance and tolerance of a composite target is dual.First, the use of all five plots allows for corroboratingand strengthening the otherwise individual conclusionsderiving by the use of a single parameter, and more impor-tantly, some conclusions are more readily available forinterpretation in a particular plot rather than in anotherone.
1.2. Literature review
Numerous studies on low velocity impact events onanalogous composite systems have been conducted toinvestigate the effect of boundary conditions, impactorweight, laminate thickness, aperture shape and size, amongothers. These parametric investigations on different mate-rial systems or structural configurations have nonethelessbeen limited to the use of two criteria only, force andenergy. The energy based criterion is comprised of the so-called damage maps, which are plots of damage area vs.impact energy or dissipated energy, and Compression AfterImpact (CAI) curves, which are plots of the static residualstrength vs. impact or dissipated energy. The force criterionrelies on the peak force recorded during an impact event toassess the relative performance of different structuralconfigurations.Jackson and Poe[4]investigated the variation in contactforce for two values of laminate thickness, support spanand boundary conditions. They concluded that, keepingthe other parameters constant, the thicker laminate andsmaller aperture gave nearly 50% higher responses, whilethe fully clamped support gave only a 20% higher responsethan the simple support.Nettles and Douglas[5]investigated the relativeresponse of three support span/laminate thickness (
s
/
t
)ratios, both in clamped and simply supported conditions.They concluded that boundary conditions appear to haveno effect on the peak force (or maximum load) vs. delami-nation area plot, as well as little effect on stiffness andimpulse duration. On the other hand the different
s
/
t
ratiogave rise to different load–displacement and load–timecurves.Ambur and Kemmerly[6]plotted the effect of impactormass on the contact force vs. impact energy curve, showinghighly non-linear and unpredictable trends, but concludedthat higher impactor masses result in decreasing damageareas. Prasad et al.[7]showed that the contact forcerecorded for specimens with partially clamped boundaryconditions is 24% higher than for the purely supported con-ditions. In addition, varying impactor weight seems to havesmall influence on the peak recorded force, yet contactduration is greatly affected by it. Ambur et al.[8]concludedthat the effect of impactor size and material on airgun pro-pelled and drop weight impact tests is very different.Increasing impactor size and mass has the effect of decreas-ing the contact force and increasing the contact duration.Furthermore, airgun-propelled impacts are localized innature, hence unlike drop weight test independent of sup-port size. Similar conclusions were reached by Delfosseet al.[9]and Li et al.[10], who showed that a lower-mass, higher-velocity impactor leads to a higher stiffness andpeak force, and lower maximum displacement and damageextent than a higher-mass, lower velocity impactor for thesame value of impact energy.Sjoblom et al.[11,12]and later Zhou[13]concluded that the delamination initiation force is strictly related to lami-nate thickness but is independent of the support span. Theyobserved that larger plates absorb more energy and carryhigher loads at the same energy level than smaller plates.Zhou also determined that the normalized CompressionAfter Impact (CAI) strength curves of laminates with dif-ferent thicknesses are virtually identical, thus suggesting
P. Feraboli, K.T. Kedward / Composites Science and Technology 66 (2006) 1336–1347 
1337
 
that while laminate thickness plays a fundamental role indamage resistance, its influence is negligible in damage tol-erance (residual performance).Liu et al.[14]employed a multi-parameter methodologyto interpret the results and determine the perforationthreshold of their targets. The peak force plot shows a tran-sition from a non-linear curve to a straight line (plateau) atthe perforation level of impact energy; the contact durationplot shows a quadratic increase up to perforation, which isfollowed by a sharp drop; the absorbed energy plot showsan initial quadratic trend which then becomes linear at per-foration; the compression after impact (CAI) tests revealedthat the normalized maximum load decreases from unity toabout 50% of the pristine value at perforation, then pla-teaus around it for higher levels of impact energy.In their investigation on quasi-isotropic beam speci-mens, Lifschiz et al.[15]introduce the concept of a 3-testsequence to determine the pristine and damaged values of transverse stiffness. The first and third subcritical tests areemployed to record total contact duration, which is directlyrelated to effective structural stiffness, while the second crit-ical test is used to introduce damage in the structure. Toquantify the residual performance they plot the relative lossin impact energy, which is linearly related to the relativereduction in beam rigidity.Kistler and Waas[16]determined that increasing thethickness of the composite target and changing the bound-ary conditions from simply supported to fully clamped hasthe effect of increasing the peak recorded force and decreas-ing the maximum displacement and contact duration.
2. Experimental setup
The laminates used are obtained by hand lay-up of AS4/NCT301prepreg tape,thenpressmolded at300
°
F(149
°
C)for30 minat3 barspressure.Thestackingsequenceisquasi-isotropic of the form [0/90/ ± 45]
ns
, with
n
= 2–5; the refer-ence laminate is a 32 ply (
n
= 4) with nominal thickness of 0.145 in. (3.68 mm). The unidirectional lamina elastic prop-erties as well as the quasi-isotropic laminate elastic andstrength properties can be found in[2].From the cured panel, square plates of nominal length6 in. (152.4 mm) are cut with a diamond coated tip disksaw. The reference fixture built for impact as well as sta-tic testing[1], is comprised of two steel plates having a2.5 in. (63.5 mm) diameter circular aperture, which areclamped together by four screws located at the peripheryof the composite target. The other fixture employed isidentical but has a 5 in. square aperture. For the refer-ence configuration, the composite plate is situatedbetween the two steel plates and is positioned over theaperture with the aid of three locating pins; the 4 screwsare then tightened to provide clamped boundary condi-tions. Testing is also performed by removing the screwsand face-plate to provide purely supported boundaryconditions, and investigate the effectiveness of clampingmechanisms. The instrumented drop tower is a GRCDynatup
Ó
model 8250, and the software used for datarecording/analysis is the 930 version. Impactor carriageweight for the reference configuration is 9.92 lbs(4.51 kg), while the other weight tested is 20.4 lbs(9.27 kg). The striker, or tup, is machined from a 6061-T6 aluminum cylinder with a 1.5 in. (38.1 mm) diameterhemispherical end. Maximum drop height is 34 in.(0.863 m), which yields impact velocities up to 13.9 ft/s(4 m/s) and impact energy levels up to 56 ft lb (75.92 J).The experimental setup used in the present investigationis similar in nature to the one used by many previousresearchers, and a summary is provided inTable 1.Table 2summarizes the eight configurations tested. Due to the
Table 1Summary of typical low velocity impact test setup and specimen geometryMaterials Stacking sequence No. plies TypetargetSupport span in.(mm)BoundaryconditionsImpactor diameterin. (mm)Impactor masslb (kg)Present AS4/NCT301 [0/90/ ± 45]
ns
n
= 25 Circ. 2.5 (63.5) CC 1.5 (38.1) 9.92 (4.50)Sqr. 5 (127) SS 20.4 (9.26)[3]AS4/3501-6 [45/0/
À
45/90]
ns
n
= 3,6 Sqr. 5 (127) SS 0.5 (12.7) 10.18 (4.63)IM7/8551-7 8 (203.2) CC[4]IM7/8552 [45/90/
À
45/0]
ns
n
= 16 Sqr. 212 (50.8304.8) SS – CC[10]AS4/3502 [45/90/
À
45/0]
ns
n
= 16 Circ. 14 (25.4101.6) – [22]AS4/3501-6 [0/90/ ± 45]
ns
n
= 4,5 Sqr. 10 (254) CC 0.5 (12.7) 9.46 (4.3)[5–7]AS4/3502 [45/0/
À
45/90]
ns
n
= 36 Sqr. 5
·
5 (127
·
127) SS/CC 0.5 (12.7) 2.520 (1.139.07)IM7/5260 Rect. 5
·
10 (127
·
254) SS 1 (25.4)[8]IM6/937 [45/0/
À
45/90]
ns
n
= 3 Rect. 3
·
5 (76.2
·
127) CC 1 (25.4) 0.6713.49 (0.316.14)T800/3900-2 [45/90/
À
45/0]
ns
SS[15]AS4/3502 [45/0/
À
45/90]
ns
n
= 13 Rect. 5
·
10 (127
·
254) CC 0.5 (12.7) 2.5 (1.13)SS[13]Glass/epoxy [0
m
/90
n
]
ns
Many Sqr. 1.55 (38.1127) CC 0.5 (12.7) 26 (11.8)[9]Glass/epoxy [0
m
/90
n
]
ns
Many Circ. 7.8719.68 (200500) SS 0. 5 (12.7) 5.06 (2.3)CC[14]AS4/3502 [45/90/
À
45/0]
ns
n
= 5,6 Beam 2.163.93 (55,100) SS 0.5 (12.7) 2.92 (1.33)[
À
45/0/45/90]
ns
CC1338
P. Feraboli, K.T. Kedward / Composites Science and Technology 66 (2006) 1336–1347 

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