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Modelling of Impact Forces and Pressures in Lagrangian Bird Strike Analyses

Modelling of Impact Forces and Pressures in Lagrangian Bird Strike Analyses

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www.elsevier.com/locate/ijimpeng

bird strike analyses

A. Airoldi, B. Cacchione

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Aerospaziale, Politecnico di Milano, Via La Masa 34, Milano 20156, Italy

Received 7 August 2004; accepted 6 April 2005

Available online 13 June 2005

Abstract

The paper aims at evaluating and improving the accuracy of bird impact numerical analyses performed

with nite element explicit codes, focusing on the modelling of the spatial and temporal pressure

distributions exerted on the target by the impacting body. A Lagrangian approach is adopted, interfacing

the ESI/Pam-Crash solver code with an automatic trial-and-error procedure for the elimination of the

excessively distorted elements. The theoretical formulation relevant to the impact of a cylindrical soft body

against a rigid target is reviewed and this idealised case is adopted to validate the presented approach with

increasingly rened nite element schemes. A sensitivity study is then carried out, adopting differently

shaped bird models and varying the material hydrodynamic and deviatoric responses. A set of models is

selected comparing the results with the experimental average values and the scattering reported in literature

for the most signicant loading parameters in impacts on rigid targets. The model shape and the calibration

parameters of the bird material used in these models are subsequently adopted in the analyses of impacts on

a deformable polycarbonate plate. The numerical results obtained with increasingly rened bird models are

presented and discussed. A range of modelling parameters is nally suggested to perform reliable numerical

analyses on aircraft structures and a criterion is proposed to select the models for a reasonably conservative

approach to the design of a bird proof structure.

r 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Bird strike; Bird models; Lagrangian approach; Impact pressures

Corresponding author. Tel.: +39 02 2399 8363; fax: +39 02 2399 8334.

0734-743X/$ - see front matter r 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.ijimpeng.2005.04.011

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Nomenclature

Ck

responses

Ratio of the plastic yield stress to p0

CY

D; D0 Diameter of a bird model and of an equivalent cylindrical body

Theoretical average force exerted by a bird impacting a rigid target

F0

H

1st parameter in the CowperSymonds law

Local element length in the nite element schemes

Lel

L; L0 Length of a bird model and of an equivalent cylindrical body

M

Bird mass

R; R0 Radius of a bird model and of an equivalent cylindrical body

pxn ; yn ; t Numerical map of the pressures at the target nodes

Stagnation point pressure of an incompressible uid having the same density of a bird

p0

Hugoniot pressure

pH

Steady ow theoretical pressure at the centre of the impact on a rigid target

ps

q

2nd parameter in the CowperSymonds law

Theoretical impact duration for a bird impacting a rigid target

T0

vi ; vH Bird material-specic volume at atmospheric pressure and in the shocked state

Bird impact velocity

Vi

Shock wave velocity in the bird material

Vs

a

Void volumetric fraction (porosity) attributed to the bird material

ri ; rH Bird material density at atmospheric pressure and in the shocked state

sY ; sY0 Plastic yield stress and reference plastic yield stress in quasi-static conditions

cT 0 x; y Spline interpolation of the numerical map of the pressures at the target nodes, timeaveraged in T0

cSTEADY x; y Spline interpolation of the numerical map of the pressures at the target nodes,

time-averaged considering the steady ow phase

cT 0 r; c1:2T 0 r Pressure radial proles, time-averaged in T0 and 1.2T0

cSTEADY r Pressure radial prole, time-averaged considering the steady ow phase

1. Introduction

The risk of structural and system failures, as well as of occupant injuries, due to bird strike

events is nowadays well recognised in aircraft design. Different structural parts of airplanes and

helicopters are currently designed to deect the impacting body trajectory and to partially absorb

its impact energy in order to protect the primary structures in the event of bird strike as in many

cases prescribed by regulations. In order to full these requirements, the bird impact response of

windshields, wing or tail empennage leading edges, as well as engine nacelles, are evaluated by

means of intensive experimental and numerical activities.

Particularly, numerical analyses have been increasingly adopted to analyse bird impacts at

locations and in conditions not considered in the experimental tests, as well as to evaluate the

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1653

effectiveness of design modications to improve the structural response and even for simulations

on design hypotheses, before carrying out any preliminary test. The tendency towards lighter and

more efcient aircraft structures, often characterised by the use of composite materials, implies the

analysis of structural problems of increasing complexity which involve the development of large

plastic strains and damage, tearing or perforations of the structural barriers and even multiple

contact interactions between the impacting body and the aircraft parts.

In these analyses, the reliability of the numerical results critically depends on the accurate

modelling of the spatial and temporal distribution of the pressures exerted on the structure during

the impact. A method of accounting for the coupling between the loads exerted by the bird and

the structural deformation is thus required. Moreover, the bird material constitutive response has

to be properly modelled.

The Lagrangian approach is one of the methods which allows a fully coupled bird impact

analysis; this approach was assessed with the development of an ad hoc explicit nite element code

[1], after the importance of the non-linear coupling between the bird and the impacted target had

been pointed out [2]. This method can be implemented in commonly used commercial explicit

nite element codes and the interaction between the bird and the target can be effectively modelled

by means of contact penalty algorithms. Multiple contacts and complicated structural shapes,

potentially undergoing very large deformations and even tearing, can be considered. The major

drawback of this approach has always been the occurrence of large element distortions in the

model of the bird, eventually leading to numerical errors. In such cases, elimination of the highly

distorted elements beyond a given level of strain can be regarded as the simplest strategy to

complete the analysis [1]. More recently, alternative techniques, such the smooth particle

hydrodynamic method, have been applied to model bird strike events [3] in order to overcome

these difculties.

The characterisation of the material response of the impacting body is another major issue in

bird impact analyses and it is pursued considering that, at the typical velocities of bird strike

events, the body can be regarded as a jet of uid impinging on the structure. Based on the

consideration that the avian tissues are mostly composed of water, the bird material had been

characterised, in numerical analyses, with a water-like hydrodynamic response, or with an

incompressible rubber-like constitutive behaviour [1,4,5]. Other authors have adopted differently

calibrated hydrodynamic responses, assessed with numericalexperimental correlations [6,7].

Considering the peculiar features of bird anatomy, experimental and theoretical work has also

suggested that a homogenised bird material model having the response of Gelatine with a

moderate degree of porosity, between 10% and 15% [8,9] is appropriate. These material models

were adopted to analytically determine the pressures exerted on the target [8,9]; they were also

suggested to develop a substitute bird model for experimental activities [10]. More recently, the

effect of porosity has also been taken into account in the numerical analysis of bird strike [3].

According to some authors, moreover, the bird material has to be modelled considering the

presence of non-hydrodynamic stress components [1,4,6,11]. The work presented in the literature

points out that, superimposing a deviatoric material response to the hydrodynamic constitutive

law will yield different numerical results in terms of effects on the impacted structure, and will

sometimes improve the numericalexperimental correlation.

This paper investigates the performances of Lagrangian bird models, considering different bird

material characterisations and focusing on the numerical modelling of the pressure distributions

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on the impacted targets. The rst objective has thus been to develop an approach not requiring the

calibration of any strain limit in order to eliminate the excessively distorted elements and capable

of modelling the spatial and temporal distributions of the pressure exerted on a target with

adequate accuracy.

The validation of the approach in idealised conditions is reported, comparing the theoretical

formulations and the numerical results referred to the impact on a rigid target of a cylindrical jet

of material having a water-like hydrodynamic response calibrated with different degrees of

porosity. A second set of impact analyses on a rigid target is presented, investigating the inuence

of the porosity, of the non-hydrodynamic material characterisation and of the bird model shape.

The numericalexperimental correlation of the results is carried out, considering the average

values as well as the scattering of the experimental data reported in literature. Some analyses of

bird impact on a polycarbonate plate are nally described in order to correlate the plastic strain

developed in the plate with the impact loading parameters obtained by different bird models in the

impact analyses on the rigid target.

2.1. Normal impact of a cylindrical body on a rigid target

The simplest idealisation of a bird impacting a rigid target consists of a cylindrical projectile of

homogenous material, with initial velocity V i and density ri at atmospheric pressure. A length to

diameter ratio of 2.0 can be considered to dene the geometry of the cylinder. The shear strength

of the material is assumed negligible, with respect to the pressures developed during the impact,

and the material is thus considered an in viscid compressible uid.

As the projectile contacts the rigid plane, the material particles at the impacting end are

immediately brought to rest and a shock wave, travelling at velocity V s through the body, is

generated. Neglecting the atmospheric pressure, and dening the pressure and the density of the

material behind the shock wave as pH and rH , the mass and the momentum conservation

equations across the discontinuity can be written in a reference frame moving with the shock

wave, as in Eqs. (1) and (2) [8,12]. A constitutive equation representing the material behaviour is

given in Eq. (3) to complete the set of equations describing the phenomenon [12].

ri V s rH V s V i ,

(1)

pH ri V s V i ,

(2)

V s V s V i .

(3)

The peak of pressure developed in the initial instants of the impact turns out to be expressed as

in Eq. (4).

pH ri V s V i V i .

(4)

The given set of equations allows, moreover, to evaluate the Hugoniot curve, representing the

locus of the shocked states of the material in the pH V H =V i plane, where vH 1=rH and

vi 1=ri .

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After the initial phase of the impact, as the material is not radially conned, the shock wave

emerging at the lateral free surfaces of the body is followed by a set of release waves. Thereafter, a

substantial stationary ow condition is obtained, and the jet ows on the at rigid target with a

distribution of pressure characterised by a maximum pressure ps , at the centre of the impact.

The last phase of the impact is characterised by the decay of the impact forces and pressures

exerted on the target. Given the cylinder length, L0 , both the total impact duration, T 0 , and the

average force exerted on the target by the impacting body, F 0 , can be easily evaluated by applying

Eqs. (5) and (6) [8].

T0

L0

,

Vi

(5)

F0

MV i MV 2i

.

T0

L0

(6)

2.2. Homogenised bird material models and theoretical local pressure levels

The initial peak pressure, pH , given in Eq. (4), and the pressure distribution during the ow on

the target depend on the constitutive response of the impacting body. As avian tissues are mostly

composed of water, a water-like hydrodynamic response can be considered as a valid

approximation for a constitutive model to be adopted in bird strike analyses. The material

model proposed in [1], with a hydrodynamic response comparable to that of water, was assessed

in some numerical Lagrangian nite element analyses and gave good numericalexperimental

correlations [1,4].

The anatomic structure of birds includes several internal cavities, such as pneumatic bones,

lungs and peculiar air sacs that contribute to reduce the bird average density that can be estimated

between 900 and 950 kgm3 after the elimination of the feathers [8,9]. In order to model the effects

of these cavities in the response of a homogenised bird material two constitutive behaviours, both

representing a porous gelatine, were proposed in the literature [8,9], each adopting two different

void volumetric fractions, a 0:10 and 0:15, respectively.

Generally, the bird material hydrodynamic response can be characterised by a polynomial

interpolation of the curve relating the pressure to the density ratio r=ri , given in Eq. (7) [1,3,4,6,7].

k

3

X

r

p

Ck

1 .

(7)

ri

k0

The coefcients of the polynomial interpolation are available for the non-porous model,

described in [1], and have been evaluated for the two porous models, presented in [8,9]. Fig. 1

presents the p vs. v=vi plots derived from the interpolations of the three bird material models

reported in literature [1,8,9], in the following referred to as bird materials with a 0:00, 0:10 and

0:15. The comparison with the Hugoniot curves of water, calculated considering a degree of

porosity according to the methods described in [12], indicates that the three interpolations can

approximately represent the shocked states of water-like materials with the corresponding degree

of porosity (Fig. 1). Fig. 2 reproduces the theoretical Hugoniot pressure vs. the impact velocity

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Fig. 1. Hugoniot and compressive curves of water-like materials and homogenised bird materials.

Fig. 2. Theoretical peak pressures vs. impact velocities curves for homogenised bird materials.

curves, obtained applying Eq. (4) to the three bird material models, considering an identical initial

density, ri 930 kgm3 . It can be observed that, according to the degree of porosity attributed to

the bird material, signicant differences are to be expected in the initial peaks of pressure exerted

on the target.

The degree of porosity affects, moreover, the steady ow pressure at the stagnation point, ps .

According to [8,13], in fact, the pressure at the centre of a bird impact can be evaluated as the

stagnation point pressure of an incompressible uid, by replacing the initial bird density, ri , with

the density of the material obtained after eliminating the porosity, thus leading to Eq. (8).

1

1

1

ri V 2i

p.

(8)

ps

2 1a

1a 0

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Porosity is thus expected to increase the stagnation point pressure with respect to the pressure

obtained with a non-porous and incompressible material of identical density, indicated as p0 in

Eq. (8).

2.3. Modelling techniques and numerical strategies

The impact of a 0.6 kg bird, with ri 930 kgm3 , has been modelled and solved with the ESI/

Pam-Crash explicit nite element code, in order to compare the results with the theoretical

formulations. A cylindrical shape, having a length to diameter ratio, L0 =D0 , of 2.0 has been

considered. Constitutive responses, corresponding to the bird materials with a 0:00, 0:10 and

0:15, have been introduced calibrating a hydrodynamic material model, available in the solver

code (material type 7, [14]).

In order to study the mesh sensitivity of the results, three nite element models of the cylinder

have been developed using 8-nodes underintegrated solid elements. The rst two represent a

uniformly meshed cylinder (Figs. 3(a and b)) with an average ratio of cylinder radius to element

length, R0 =Lel , of 6.6 and 8.9, respectively, while the third mesh is characterised by a progressive

renement towards the impacting end having a R0 =Lel ratio of 24.8 (Fig. 3(c)).

The target model has been realised with a 10 mm equispaced grid of nodes, connected by rigid

elements. In order to obtain an adequate modelling of the contact pressures, the interaction

between the impinging body and the rigid plane has been introduced by means of a surface-tosurface contact penalty algorithm [14]. Moreover, to avoid interpenetrations, consequent to the

distortion of the Lagrangian elements during the analysis, the contact between the impacting body

Fig. 3. Finite element models for the analyses of a cylindrical body impacting on a rigid target.

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and the target involves all the faces of the solid elements of the cylinder model, including the

internal ones.

A numerical strategy, assessed in a previous work [4], has been adopted to prosecute the

analyses in case of severe distortions of the Lagrangian elements, consisting in a trial-and-error

scheme that removes the hydrodynamic material response only in the zones where numerical

errors occur, leaving the corresponding mass lumped at free nodes. To implement this procedure,

the nite element models of the impacting body have been divided into one hundred regions and

the solver code has been programmed to write, at a given frequency during the simulation, a restart le. If the calculation is interrupted because of a numerical error, an external script

automatically detects the region where numerical problems are originated, eliminates the

hydrodynamic material in this zone and re-starts the analysis from the last available re-start le.

In the prosecution of the simulation, the mass corresponding to the eliminated volume portion is

lumped at free nodes, still interacting with the impacting surface via a node-to-surface contact

algorithm. Fig. 4 shows the ow chart of the procedure and presents the material regions for the

model in Fig. 3(b). A re-start le writing frequency of 1/(0.012T0) has been adopted in all the

presented analyses.

In order to evaluate the pressure distribution on the target, pressure maps and pressure radial

proles have been calculated averaging, in the time domain, the map of the nodal pressures

exerted on the surface expressed in a reference system having the spatial origin at the centre of the

impact and the time origin at the beginning of the impact event, pxn ; yn ; t. Considering a given

time interval, DT, the time-averaged pressure at each node has been evaluated. A bi-dimensional

spline interpolation has been applied to the time-averaged pressure values, thus leading to a

pressure map, cDT x; y. A pressure radial prole, averaged in the considered DT, has been nally

determined by means of Eq. (9).

Z 2p

1

cDT r cos W; r sin W dW.

(9)

cDT r

2pr 0

Fig. 4. Flow chart of the trial-and-error procedure for the automatic elimination of the regions with distorted

Lagrangian elements and example of a cylindrical body model divided into regions.

A. Airoldi, B. Cacchione / International Journal of Impact Engineering 32 (2006) 16511677

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Numerical simulations of the normal impacts on a rigid target of the previously described

cylindrical body have been performed at different velocities. Impacts at 100, 200 and 300 ms1

have been analysed adopting the increasingly rened models shown in Fig. 3, and the three bird

materials with a 0:00, 0:10 and 0:15, thus leading to a total number of 27 analyses.

The typical phases of the impact analysis are shown in Figs. 5 and 6, for a simulation with

a 0:10, R0 =Lel 8:9, V i 200 ms1 , while Fig. 7 reports the pressure time histories at the

centre of the impact, at the same impact velocity and mesh renement level, obtained with

different degrees of porosity.

The development of the shock wave is evidenced in Fig. 5(a). The release waves, emerging from

the free lateral edges, and a weakened pressure wave, travelling across the body, are visible in

Figs. 5(b) and (c), respectively. The owing of the modelled cylindrical jet is presented in Fig. 5(c)

as well as in Fig. 6, showing the numerical contact interface between the body and the target. The

Fig. 5. Pressure contours, in different impact phases, of a cylindrical body model with R0 =Lel 8:9, having a 0:10 at

V i 200 ms1 .

Fig. 6. Contact interface between a cylindrical body model and the target model.

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Fig. 7. Numerical pressure time histories at the centre of the impact, ltered at 50 kHz, considering cylindrical body

models with R0 =Lel 8:9, at V i 200 ms1 .

Fig. 8. Numerical impulse time histories for the analyses with cylindrical body models having R0 =Lel 24:8, at

100 ms1 (white symbols), 200 ms1 (grey symbols) and 300 ms1 (black symbols).

curves reported in Fig. 7 show that, after an initial peak of pressure, a phase of substantially

steady ow, with pressure levels comparable to p0 , is developed.

As far as the overall impact parameters are concerned, Fig. 8 reports the impulses obtained

integrating the contact force on the target from the beginning of the impact in all the analyses

performed with the most rened model. At time T 0 all the impulses are between 91% and 93% of

the initial momentum. After T 0 ; the overall contact forces decay in all the analyses, as indicated

by the impulse curves. The inuence of porosity is absolutely negligible and the impulses are

always lower than the initial momentum, thus indicating that the material of the soft body,

globally, ows without rebounding on the target. Fig. 9 refers to the analyses performed with

A. Airoldi, B. Cacchione / International Journal of Impact Engineering 32 (2006) 16511677

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Fig. 9. Numerical impulses evaluated at T 0 (large symbols) and 1.2T0 (small symbols) for the analyses of the impact of

a cylindrical body model at V i 200 ms1 .

Fig. 10. Time-averaged pressure distributions in T0 of cylindrical body models with R0 =Lel 24:8, having a 0:00 (a),

a 0:10 (b) and a 0:15 (c), at V i 200 ms1 .

different cylindrical models at V i 200 ms1 ; it presents the numerical values of the impulses at

T 0 and 1.2T0 and shows that the mesh sensitivity is also negligible. The theoretical predictions

given in Eqs. (5) and (6) are hence substantially conrmed.

Fig. 10 presents the spline interpolations of the pressure distributions averaged in the 0 T 0

time interval, cT 0 x; y, and it is referred to the analyses performed with different degrees of

porosity, at V i 200 ms1 , adopting meshes with R0 =Lel 24:8. The pressure radial proles,

shown in Fig. 11, have been obtained considering the same analyses, but applying Eq. (9) to a

pressure map, cSTEADY x; y, time-averaged in the interval 1=3T 0 2=3T 0 , chosen as

representative of the steady ow phase. As predicted by Eq. (8) the porosity degree inuences

the stagnation point pressure in the steady phase, but Fig. 11 shows that the pressure proles are

also dependent on the mesh renement.

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Fig. 11. Pressure radial proles during the owing phase of cylindrical body models having a 0:00 (a), a 0:10 (b)

and a 0:15 (c), at V i 200 ms1 .

Fig. 12. Theoretical-numerical correlation of the steady ow pressures considering cylindrical body models with

R0 =Lel 24:8.

The reason for this mesh sensitivity can be explained as follows. During the owing phase the

elements at the impacting end are progressively stretched, as shown in Fig. 6, so that a poorly

rened model of the contact interface is obtained, unless the initial local element length at the

impacting end is very small. The results of the models having R0 =Lel 8:9 and R0 =Lel 24:8 are

similar and indicate that the solutions obtained with the highest mesh renement levels are

numerically reliable.

The proles presented in Fig. 11 show that the pressure at the centre of the impact rises as the

porosity increases, as predicted by Eq. (8). This trend is conrmed, in Fig. 12, by the values of the

pressure maps at the centre of the impact,cSTEADY 0; 0, averaged in the 1=3T 0 2=3T 0 time

interval and referred to the analyses of the impact at different velocities. Numerical results

compared with theoretical pressures in Fig. 12 indicate, however, that even the most rened

models tend to underestimate the values given by Eq. (8), with an average discrepancy of 8.9%.

To explain this discrepancy, which is more considerable at low impact velocities and for the

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Fig. 13. Theoreticalnumerical correlation of the initial peaks of pressure considering cylindrical body models with

R0 =Lel 24:8.

Fig. 14. Initial peaks of pressures at the centre of the impact at V i 200 ms1 of cylindrical body models having

a 0:00 (a), a 0:10 (b) and a 0:15 (c), obtained ltering the numerical curves with different cut-off frequencies of

50 kHz (small symbols), 100 kHz (medium symbols) and 150 kHz (large symbols).

non-porous material, the velocity of the nodes at the onset of the steady ow phase has been

analysed. It has been observed that in the initial phases of the impact, a weakened pressure wave

had propagated through the body and had modied the velocity of the nodes, particularly in the

inner portion of the cylinder, thus giving reason for stagnation pressures lower than the

theoretical levels.

An acceptable correlation with the theory has been, nally, obtained for the initial peak of

pressure on the rigid target, presented in Fig. 13 and compared to the theoretical curves derived

applying Eq. (4) to the three considered material models. The numerical results, reported in

Fig. 13, are referred to the most rened models and have been obtained ltering at 50 kHz the

numerical pressure time histories at the centre of the impact. As shown in Fig. 14 for the analyses

of impacts at V i 200 ms1 , the numerical peak of pressure is dependent on the cut-off frequency

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Fig. 15. Numerical time histories of the contact forces, ltered at 50 kHz, and monitoring of the percentage of mass

retaining the hydrodynamic behaviour adopting cylindrical body models having different porosity levels and

R0 =Lel 24:8.

of the digital lter adopted, but with the most rened mesh the results obtained ltering at 50, 100

and 150 kHz are substantially identical.

Globally, a good correlation has been found between the analyses performed with the

implemented Lagrangian approach and the theoretical formulations for a bird impact in idealised

conditions, assuming a rigid target, a perfectly cylindrical shape and a pure hydrodynamic

response. The results of the mesh sensitivity study indicate that relatively coarse models can give

good results in terms of overall impact-loading parameters. However, the same results suggest

that an adequate mesh renement, particularly at the impacting end of the model is required in

order to obtain reliable evaluations of the pressure distribution.

As far as the distortion of the elements is concerned, Fig. 15 reports the normalised forces and

the percentage of mass retaining the hydrodynamic behaviour in the analyses of the impacts at

200 ms1 performed using the most rened cylindrical models, having R0 =Lel 24:8. Although all

the analyses have been performed using the script implementing the trial-and-error procedure,

only the models having R0 =Lel 24:8 required the elimination of the hydrodynamic behaviour in

some regions. As shown in Fig. 15 a maximum of 5% of the bird model initial volume was

substituted with lumped masses, in the 0 T 0 time interval. A maximum substitution of 10% of

the initial volume occurred, in just one case, considering a simulation time of 1.2T0.

3.1. Sensitivity to the model shape and to the non-hydrodynamic material response

A rst comparison of the numerical results obtained by the idealised bird models with the

experimental data referred to bird impact on rigid targets [8,10] indicates that the pressure time

histories at the centre of the impact can be considered in good qualitative agreement. On the

A. Airoldi, B. Cacchione / International Journal of Impact Engineering 32 (2006) 16511677

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contrary, the forces exerted by real birds do not absolutely exhibit the high initial peaks presented

in Fig. 15. A different shape of the impacting body and the shear strength of the material have

been introduced in the numerical model to better approximate the characteristics of real birds.

As far as the shape is concerned, cylindrical bodies with hemispherical caps and length to

diameter ratios of 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0 have been chosen to realise more realistic bird shapes than the

idealised cylinder and will be referred to as bird models. In order to improve the accuracy of the

numerical pressure distributions, the nite element schemes of these models have been rened

towards the impacting end, up to a R0 =Lel ratio of 24.8, where R0 is the radius of an equivalent

cylindrical body having L0 =D0 2:0 and the same mass of the bird model.

The effects of a deviatoric response, superimposed to the hydrodynamic behaviour, have also

been investigated. Elasticplastic, as well as elasticbrittle deviatoric responses, were considered

by different authors in literature [1,4,6,11] with a wide range of ultimate deviatoric stress

attributed to the material. In this work, a sensitivity study has been performed adopting an elasticperfectly plastic deviatoric response. The elastic limit has been set to a deviatoric strain of 0.01

and the corresponding yield stress, sY , has been normalised with respect to the stagnation point

pressure of an incompressible uid with density of 930 kgm3, thus dening the coefcient

C Y sY =p0 .

In order to evaluate the inuence of the model shape and of the material deviatoric response,

the numerical analyses of impacts at V i 200 ms1 , with a bird mass of 0.6 kg, have been

performed. A full evaluation matrix has been considered, combining materials with deviatoric

responses characterised by C Y 0:00, 0:10 and 0:20, the hydrodynamic behaviour of bird

materials with a 0:00, 0:10 and 0:15 and bird model shapes having length to diameter ratios of

1.6, 1.8 and 2.0.

Globally, 27 bird strike analyses have been performed. The hereby presented results are

normalised with respect to the theoretical impact loading parameters that are referred to an

equivalent cylindrical body, having the same mass of the bird model and L0 =D0 2:0. All over, a

cut-off frequency of 50 kHz has been adopted to lter the numerical curves of pressure and force.

On the basis of the results shown in Fig. 14, this frequency has been considered adequate to obtain

reliable numerical evaluations of the impact loading parameters at the adopted mesh renement

level.

The impact phases shown in Fig. 16 and the pressure time histories reported in Fig. 17, refer to

bird models without a deviatoric response, having L=D 2:0 and different porosity values. The

comparison with the contours and the pressure curves referred to cylinders reported in Figs. 57

shows that the shapes having a curved impacting end obtains initial peaks of pressure lower than

those obtained with the cylindrical models. Moreover, high-pressure levels are developed only in a

limited contact region. As a consequence, as shown in Fig. 18, the overall contact forces of the

bird models do not exhibit high initial spikes in correspondence of the initial pressure peaks as in

the case of the cylindrical impacting body and are characterised by a trapezoidal shape.

The inuence of the deviatoric response can be appreciated in Fig. 19 that reports the sensitivity

of the numerical impulses evaluated at T0 for all the bird models considered in the evaluation

matrix. The impulse tends to increase with C Y thus indicating that the deviatoric response

opposes the bird model ow and increases the tendency of the body to rebound on the rigid target.

The average pressure distributions in T 0 present more considerable variations than those

regarding the overall impulses in the same time interval. Fig. 20 shows that the numerical value of

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Fig. 16. Phases of the impact analysis on a rigid target and internal pressure contours considering a bird model with

L=D 1:8, having a 0:10 and C Y 0:00.

Fig. 17. Numerical pressure time histories at the centre of the impact, ltered at 50 kHz, considering bird models with

L=D 2:0, having C Y 0:00.

the pressure at the centre of the impact averaged in T 0 , cT 0 0; 0, signicantly increases with a and

C Y . cT 0 0; 0 rises from a value of about 1.1p0 for non-porous models without deviatoric response

up to over 1.5p0 for the porous models with deviatoric response.

3.2. Comparison with the experimental data

The impact loading parameters obtained in the bird strike numerical analyses included in the

sensitivity study are hereby compared with the average values and the standard deviations of the

experimental results referred to normal impacts of birds on rigid targets and presented in [8,15].

In the considered experiments, the impulses and the peaks of force were measured from

shooting 15 birds with masses of 0.06 and 0.6 kg on the end faces of aluminium Hopkinson bars.

A. Airoldi, B. Cacchione / International Journal of Impact Engineering 32 (2006) 16511677

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Fig. 18. Numerical overall contact forces, ltered at 50 kHz, considering a cylindrical body model and bird models with

different L=D ratios having a 0:10.

Forces had been measured converting the data obtained by strain transducers mounted on the

bars. Two different bars had been used depending on the mass of the impacting body and in both

cases the radii of the impacted end turns out to be about 2.0R0. Accordingly, the numerical

impulses on a reduced circular area of radius 2.0R0 have been evaluated in order to carry out a

more rigorous numericalexperimental correlation. Such values have been derived from the

pressure radial proles averaged in 1.2T0, c1:2T 0 r. The correlation shown in Fig. 21 indicates that

all the models included in the evaluation matrix have obtained acceptable results.

As far as force time history is concerned, the numerical trapezoidal overall force proles

exemplied in Fig. 18 are in good qualitative agreement with the experimental force time histories

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Fig. 20. Numerical sensitivity to C Y of the pressure at the centre of the impact, averaged in T 0 , for bird models.

Fig. 21. Numerical sensitivity to C Y of the impulse, evaluated at 1.2T0 on a reduced impact area, to C Y for bird models

and comparison with experimental data.

reported in [8,15] and are characterised by a peak of force that diminishes as the length to

diameter ratio rises. The numerical peaks of force obtained in all the analyses are reported and

compared with the experimental results in Fig. 22 conrming a clear dependency on the model

shape. These results suggest that the experimental force time histories could be considerably

inuenced by the irregular and non-symmetric shapes of the real birds. However, the

numericalexperimental correlation points out that only the models with L=D 1:6 have

reached peaks of force within the experimental range and, in some cases, close to the average

experimental value, while the other models have obtained lower maximum force levels.

A. Airoldi, B. Cacchione / International Journal of Impact Engineering 32 (2006) 16511677

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Fig. 22. Numerical sensitivity to L=D of the peak of force for bird models and comparison with experimental data.

Fig. 23. Numerical sensitivity to a of the peak of pressure at the centre of the impact for bird models and comparison

with experimental data.

Considering the pressure distributions, the numerical results can be compared with the

experimental data reported in [8,15] derived from bird shots on a pressure plate apparatus,

featured with pressure transducers having a pass band of 100 kHz.

The experimental initial peaks of pressure, reported in [8,15] for 20 bird shots with masses

between 0.06 and 4.0 kg at different velocities, have been normalised with respect to the theoretical

Hugoniot pressures referred to a material with a 0:10, evaluated at each impact velocity

according to the curve presented in Fig. 2. Fig. 23 compares these experimental results with the

numerical initial peaks of pressure at the centre of the target evaluated from the time history

curves ltered at 50 kHz. It can be observed that only the porosity signicantly inuences the

numerical peak of pressure. Although the models with a 0:10 show the best correlation with the

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Fig. 24. Numerical sensitivity to C Y of the pressures at the centre of the impact, time-averaged in the 1=3T 0 2=3T 0

interval, for bird models having a 0:00 (a), a 0:10 (b) and a 0:15 (c) and comparison with the experimental steady

ow pressures.

average experimental value, all the results are within the range of the experimental data,

characterised by a large scattering.

The experimental steady ow pressures at the centre of the impact have been reported in [8,15]

for more than 30 shots with birds having masses between 0.06 and 4 kg. They are compared in Fig.

24 with the corresponding numerical pressures obtained considering pressure maps averaged in

the 1=3T 0 2=3T 0 time interval. All the modelling parameters, a, C Y and L=D, inuence the

numerical distribution of the pressure; it can also be observed that the models without porosity

and deviatoric response are the closest to the experimental average values. As the porosity, the

yield stress attributed to the deviatoric response or the impacting end curvature are increased, the

numerical value tends to overestimate the experimental results.

Globally, the numericalexperimental correlation shows that the bird models having L=D 1:6

are the only ones obtaining numerical peaks of force close to the average experimental value and

they do not tend to excessively overestimate the pressure at the centre of the impact in the owing

phase. All the previous considerations thus indicate that this shape, among the considered ones,

represents the best choice to allow for the bird shape irregularities and the impacting surface

curvature. The numerical impulses reported in Fig. 19 show that adopting a L=D ratio of 1.6 the

average forces are only a few percent higher than those obtained with shapes having L=D 2:0

which are most commonly adopted in bird strike nite element analyses, all the other modelling

parameters being equal.

Focusing on the models having L=D 1:6, three models have obtained overall impact loading

parameters as well as local pressure values close to the experimental results. The rst two are nonporous bird models, with a 0:00, having C Y 0:00 and 0:10, respectively. They are

characterised by the best correlation with the experimental average values in terms of peaks of

force (7.2% and 5.2%, respectively) and of steady ow pressures (3.5% and +11.8%,

respectively). A third model, having a 0:10 and C Y 0:00, also shows an acceptable

numericalexperimental correlation. In fact, it has obtained an initial peak of pressure that is

substantially identical to the experimental average level though the steady ow pressure and the

peak of force are not as close to the experimental averages (+16.8% and 14.1%, respectively).

A. Airoldi, B. Cacchione / International Journal of Impact Engineering 32 (2006) 16511677

1671

Fig. 25. Pressure radial proles, time-averaged in T 0 , for bird models having a 0:0020:10, C Y 0:0020:10 and

L=D 1:6.

It is worth noting that all the numerical results of these three models are appreciably within the

ranges identied by the standard deviation of the experimental data, though they are

characterised by different pressure distributions, as it is indicated in Fig. 25 by the radial proles

evaluated applying Eq. (9) to the cT 0 x; y maps.

4.1. Objectives and description of the performed analyses

The value of the average pressure at the centre of the impact evaluated considering the total

theoretical impact duration, cT 0 0; 0, can be regarded as particularly representative of the

pressure distribution exerted on the rigid target. In fact, this parameter is evaluated considering

both the initial and the steady ow phases of the impact. Fig. 20 indicates that cT 0 0; 0 rises with

C Y , with the porosity and, in most cases, with the sharpness of the bird model. Assuming that

numerical pressure distributions are adequately modelled, cT 0 0; 0 gives an indication on the

average load exerted by the bird and on the tendency to concentrate the load at the centre of the

impact. Accordingly, the load condition experienced by a deformable structure in a nite element

analysis of bird impact should be more severe the higher is the cT 0 0; 0 value that the adopted

bird model obtains in an impact analysis on a rigid target.

This statement has been veried analysing the normal impact of a bird on a deformable target

considering the three models having L=D 1:6. These models have been selected on the basis of

the numericalexperimental correlation and have obtained cT 0 0; 0 values between 1.089p0 and

1.227p0 in the impact on the rigid target (Figs. 20 and 25). A fourth model, having L=D 1:6,

a 0:15 and C Y 0:20, has further been considered. The numerical impact loading parameters

obtained by this model on a rigid target is within the range of the experimental data as indicated

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in Figs. 2124. On the other hand, the average pressure during the steady ow phase is at the

upper boundary of the experimental results and the overall impulse is higher than those of the

previously selected models. The cT 0 0; 0 obtained by this model is 1.396p0.

The analyses on the deformable target have been performed using the ESI/Pam-Crash solver

code modelling a circular polycarbonate plate having a radius of 500 mm ( 13:5R0 ). Shell

elements having a typical length of 10 mm in the impact zone have been used. The thickness of the

modelled plate has been set to 7.0 mm. An elasticplastic material model (type 103, [14]) has been

chosen and calibrated to approximate the typical response of polycarbonate [16]. A CowperSymonds law (Eq. (10)) has also been included to model the strain rate sensitivity of the yield

stress. The yield stress in quasi-static conditions, sY0 , has been set to 33.75 MPa, the elastic

modulus to 2.25 GPa and the CowperSymonds law parameters, H and q, to 2250 s1 and 5,

respectively.

_ 1=q

.

(10)

sY sY0 1

H

As the numerical pressure distributions have been found to depend on the mesh renement, four

differently rened meshes of a bird model with L=D 1:6 has been used. The local R0 =Lel ratios

at the impacting end of the models vary from 4.2 to 24.8.

4.2. Results

Globally, 16 analyses with V i 200 ms1 and a bird mass of 0.6 kg have been performed

considering the four previously presented bird models and the four differently rened nite

element schemes.

Fig. 26(a) presents two of the meshes adopted while Fig. 26(b and c) exemplify the phases of the

impact and the contours of the membrane plastic strain on the target, respectively. In all the

analyses the overall contact forces show a maximum at approximately 1.0T0. At the same time the

membrane plastic strain at the centre of the impact reaches a plateau level as shown in Fig. 27.

Fig. 27 also presents the deection at the centre of the plate.

All the analyses have been performed activating the trial-and-error procedure to prosecute the

simulations in case of excessively distorted elements. Only the analyses performed with the most

rened bird models having R0 =Lel 24:8 required the elimination of the hydrodynamic behaviour

in some regions. Fig. 28 reports the time histories of the contact forces obtained in these analyses

and the percentage of mass retaining the hydrodynamic behaviour. It can be observed that the

computations prosecuted without any elimination up to 1.0T0. Thereafter, the elimination of the

hydrodynamic behaviour in a small portion of the impacting mass (maximum 13%) allowed to

prosecute the analyses up to the complete decay of the contact forces.

Fig. 29 summarises the results of the analyses and reports the maximum forces (Fig. 29(a)) and

the maximum membrane plastic strains on the plate (Fig. 29(b)) considering different mesh

renements. The results obtained by each bird model are plotted vs. the normalised average

pressure, cT 0 0; 0=p0 , evaluated at the centre of the impact on a rigid target adopting the same

bird model. Fig 29(a) shows that the maximum contact forces differ by a maximum of 10% and

do not regularly vary with cT 0 0; 0.

A. Airoldi, B. Cacchione / International Journal of Impact Engineering 32 (2006) 16511677

1673

Fig. 26. Bird models for the analyses of impacts on a deformable target (a), phases of the impact analysis (b) and

numerical membrane plastic strain on the target (c) referred to an analysis adopting a bird model with R0 =Lel 24:8,

having a 0:00, C Y 0:00 and L=D 1:6.

Fig. 27. Numerical time histories of the plate deection and of the plastic strain at the centre of the impact on a

deformable target for a set of selected bird models, with R0 =Lel 24:8.

The variations of the plastic strain are much more considerable and maximum differences of

about 30% are reported in Fig. 29(b) among the three models selected on the basis of the

numericalexperimental correlation. When the fourth model having the highest cT 0 0; 0 is

considered, differences of 55% are obtained. Fig. 29(b) also shows that the maximum plastic strain

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Fig. 28. Numerical time histories of the contact forces and monitoring of the percentage of mass retaining the

hydrodynamic behaviour in the impact analyses on a deformable target performed with bird models having

R0 =Lel 24:8.

Fig. 29. Numerical peaks of force (a) and maximum values of the membrane plastic strain (b) in the impact analyses on

a deformable target for a set of selected bird models, with different mesh renements.

on the deformable plate turns out to be a monotonic function of cT 0 0; 0. As far as the mesh

sensitivity is concerned, the membrane plastic strain is minimum for the most rened meshes,

while the less rened models obtain strains up to 18% higher. However, the mesh renement does

not inuence the monotonic increment of the membrane plastic strain with cT 0 0; 0.

4.3. Discussion of the results obtained considering rigid and deformable targets

According to the presented results, different local strain levels have been achieved adopting bird

models that have obtained overall impact loading parameters and local pressures close to the

experimental average values in an impact analysis on a rigid target. This consideration suggests

A. Airoldi, B. Cacchione / International Journal of Impact Engineering 32 (2006) 16511677

1675

that bird impact analyses on structures could be performed with different bird models in order to

account for possible variations of the impacting body characteristics and for the uncertainties

relevant to the experimental measures. The three models previously selected on the basis of the

numericalexperimental correlation identify a shape and ranges of a and C Y that can be proposed

for numerical analyses performed adopting the presented approach. The limitation regarding the

ultimate deviatoric stress has been actually veried for an impact velocity of 200 ms1. However,

on the basis of the performed numerical investigation, it can be reasonably supposed that the ow

of the impacting body will be excessively hindered if the deviatoric yield stress exceeds 0.1 times

the stagnation pressure of an incompressible uid having the same density of the bird. As a

consequence, the pressure at the centre of the impact will turn out to be overestimated with respect

to the experimental data, also at different velocities.

The results, moreover, conrm that the severity of the load conditions applied to the considered

deformable target can be correlated to the impact loading parameters obtained by a bird model in

the impact analysis on a rigid target. Indeed, the severity of the load conditions applied to the

deformable target does not appear correlated to the peaks of force exerted by the bird models as it

is shown by the results of the model with cT 0 0; 0 1:396p0 . In fact, this model presents the lowest

peaks of force on the rigid as well as on the deformable target but has obtained the highest plastic

strain among the considered bird models. On the other hand, the pressure parameter denoted as

cT 0 0; 0 has been found to represent a signicant index of the severity of the load conditions that

each bird model can apply in the impact analysis on a deformable target. Accordingly, the models

presenting time-averaged pressures in an impact analysis on a rigid target at the upper boundary of

the experimental data could represent suitable candidates to perform reasonably conservative

numerical analyses for the development of an efcient bird proof structure.

5. Conclusions

The numerical performances of bird models with different material characterisations and

shapes have been evaluated with a Lagrangian approach. The ESI/Pam-Crash code has been

interfaced with an external script implementing a trial-and-error element elimination procedure

and a surface-to-surface contact algorithm has been adopted between the nite elements schemes

of the impacting body and the target.

The approach has been applied to analyse bird impacts in idealised conditions considering the

normal impact on a rigid target of perfectly cylindrical bodies with pure hydrodynamic responses

corresponding to water-like materials having different degrees of porosity. The numerical

simulations have properly modelled the development of the shock wave in the initial instants of

the impact and the subsequent ow of the bird material. A good correlation with the theoretical

formulations regarding all the most signicant global and local impact loading parameters has

been obtained at different impact velocities. As far as the distribution of the pressures exerted on

the target is concerned, reliable and convergent solutions and local values in good agreement with

the theoretical formulations have been obtained increasing the mesh renement, particularly at

the impacting end of the body. The developed procedure to eliminate the hydrodynamic

behaviour in the excessively distorted elements allowed to prosecute these analyses up to the

complete decay of the impact forces without calibrating any strain limit for the elimination of the

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elements and with negligible inuences on the accuracy of the results. The approach has been thus

found suitable to perform a large number of analyses focusing on the impact loading parameters

obtained by bird models of different shapes and adopting different material characterisations. As

conrmed by the presented results, the Lagrangian analyses of bird impacts on the considered at

targets could be prosecuted requiring the elimination of the hydrodynamic behaviour only in

limited portions of the impacting body.

Accordingly, a sensitivity study has been rst performed adopting the validated approach

varying the model shape, the degree of porosity and the plastic ow stress attributed to the

deviatoric response superimposed to the hydrodynamic behaviour. The comparison with the

average values and the standard deviations of the experimental data reported in literature allowed

to identify a set of bird models obtaining impulses, peaks of force, peaks of pressure and steady

ow pressures close to the experimental average values and clearly within the range identied by

the experimental data. These models are characterised by a length to diameter ratio of 1.6, a

water-like hydrodynamic response calibrated considering porosity between 0% and 10%, and an

elastic-perfectly-plastic deviatoric response with a yield stress lower than 0.1 times the stagnation

pressure of an incompressible uid having the same density of the bird material.

The numerical performances of these selected models have been evaluated in a virtual

experiment relevant to the impact on a deformable polycarbonate plate and not completely

negligible differences have been obtained considering the plastic strain levels in the target. These

results indicate that the reliability of bird impact numerical analyses on a structure could be

improved performing different analyses and varying the modelling parameters within the ranges

identied in the numericalexperimental correlation. Moreover, a correlation has been found

between the time-averaged pressure at the centre of the impact obtained by a bird model on a rigid

target, considering the total impact duration and the plastic strain induced by the same bird model

on the polycarbonate plate. This result suggests to select bird models obtaining pressures at the

centre of the impact on a rigid target at the upper boundary of the experimental data in order to

perform reasonably conservative bird impact analyses.

Further numerical and experimental activities may investigate the application of the developed

numerical approach in more complex impact conditions and the overall validity of the identied

range of modelling parameters, also adopting different numerical approaches, and may assess the

proposed criterion to select reasonably conservative bird models for the development of bird

proof structures.

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thanks Prof. Vittorio Giavotto for the support given to this work.

References

[1] Brockman RA, Held TW. Explicit nite element method for transparency impact analysis. University of Dayton

Research Institute Report WL-TR-91-3006, 1991

[2] McCarty RE. Finite element analysis of F-16 aircraft canopy dynamic response to bird impact loading. AIAA

Paper AIAA 80-0804. 21st structures, structural dynamics, and materials conference. Seattle, WA, USA: 1980.

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[3] Johnson AF, Holzapfel M. Modelling soft body impact on composite structures. Compos Struct 2003;61:10313.

[4] Airoldi A, Tagliapietra D. Bird impact simulation against a hybrid composite and metallic vertical stabilizer.

AIAA Paper AIAA 2001-1390, 42nd AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC structures, structural dynamics, and

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[6] Anghileri M, Sala G. Theoretical assessment, numerical simulation and comparison with tests of birdstrike on

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[7] Langrand B, Bayart A-S, Deletombe E, Chauveau Y. Assessment of multi-physics FE methods for bird strike

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[8] Wilbeck JS. Impact behaviour of low strength projectiles. PhD. dissertation, Texas A&M University, 1997.

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[10] Wilbeck JS, Rand JL. The development of a substitute bird model. ASME Paper ASME 81-GT-23. Gas turbine

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[11] Dobyns A, Federici F, Young R. Bird strike analysis and test of a spinning S-92 tail rotor. In: Proceedings of the

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[12] Meyers MA. Dynamic behavior of materials. New York: Wiley; 1994.

[13] Wilbeck JS, Barber JP. Bird impact loading. Shock Vib Bull 1978;2:11522.

[14] Pam-Crash Solver Reference Manual and Solver Notes Manual, Version 2000. Pam System International SA, 2000

[15] Barber JP, Taylor HR, Wilbeck JS. Bird impact forces and pressures on rigid and compliant targets. University of

Dayton Research Institute Technical Report AFFDL-TR-77-60, 1978

[16] Li Z, Lambros J. Strain rate effects on the thermomechanical behavior of polymers. Int J Solid Struct

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