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Composite Structures 184 (2018) 352–361

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Analysis of the impact and compression after impact behavior of tufted MARK
laminated composites

A.T. Martins , Z. Aboura, W. Harizi, A. Laksimi, K. Khellil
Sorbonne Universités, Université de Technologie de Compiègne, CNRS, Laboratoire de Mécanique Roberval UMR 7337, Dept GM, CS 60319, 60203 Compiègne Cedex,


Keywords: The effect of trough-the-thickness reinforcement by tufting on impact and after impact behavior of woven carbon
Tufting fiber composites is investigated. The density and angle of the carbon fiber threads during tufting process were
Trough-the-thickness reinforcement varied to achieve better results on damage tolerance. The samples were submitted to out-of-plane impact with
Impact two different energies to compare their response under loading. Then, they were analyzed by ultrasonic C-Scan
Compression after impact
technique in order to evaluate the damaged zone. Further, compression after impact (CAI) assisted by acoustic
Multi-instrumented testing
emission and Digital Image Correlation compared the compressive strength and materials response according to
their tufting parameters. Also, compression before impact (CBI) were performed to evaluate the in-plane
properties of the tufted composites. The transversal tufting reinforcement achieved the best results when
compared to angular and non-tufted laminate composites. Moreover, when increasing the tufting density, the
damaged area is decreased and the ultimate compressive strength improved. Tufting reinforcements were found
to decrease the damage area up to 4 times (transversal tufting) when compared to non-tufted laminates.
Additionally, the residual ratio (CAI/CBI) increased up to 30% and 28% for the transversal and angular re-
inforcements respectively in comparison to the reference.

1. Introduction loads, owing to local instability [6–8].

Hence, considerable improvements in damage tolerance and dela-
Carbon fiber reinforced composites has been increasingly applied to mination growth resistance can be achieved using both the constituents
aircraft structures. The well known higher strength-to-weight as com- of the composite as tougher resin or reinforcement in z-direction [9,10].
pared to metallic alloys helps the aircraft to reduce weight, conse- For instance, the composites can be toughened by incorporation of
quently improving fuel efficiency. They also can offer the advantage to micro-phase dispersed rubbery or thermoplastic polymers, rigid parti-
reduce parts counts and their longer life cycle can decrease the main- cles or ‘hybrid-toughened’ epoxy polymers by combining both rubber
tenance frequency [1]. However, despite great in-plane properties as toughening and silica nanoparticles. However, these methods have
strength and stiffness of the laminate composite materials, they can difficulties in the proper particles distribution (rubber or thermoplastic
show weakness, particularly in the transversal direction when sub- polymers) in the matrix. Moreover, to achieve significant toughness an
mitted to impact loading. important amount of particle is necessary which typically increases the
Laminated composite materials are liable to fatal damage under resin viscosity, usually unacceptable for resin-infusion process [11].
impact on service conditions, maintenance operations or even in part Furthermore, the tougher resins provide only moderate improvements
manufacturing [2–4].Therefore, when a foreign object impacts a lami- on impact damage resistance and the usage in large practical composite
nate, several damage modes as delaminations, fiber breakage, and structures is still being studied [9,12].
matrix cracks occur in the composite structure [5]. Particularly, dela- The interleaving approach has also been used to improve the pe-
mination is one of the principal damage mechanisms on impact, espe- netration resistance and damage tolerance of carbon/epoxy composites
cially in low-velocity under transversal loading. This failure mode re- by increasing their fracture toughness [13–18]. This method involves
duces the impact strength due to the low interlaminar strength of the the incorporation of thin layers of a high shear strength resin along the
composites materials. In addition, this damage can seriously reduce the interface of the laminas. However, it is not practical to add an adhesive
load bearing capacity of the laminate, especially under compressive layer along every interface of the laminate. This may cause the laminate

Corresponding author.
E-mail address: (A.T. Martins).
Received 16 May 2017; Received in revised form 28 August 2017; Accepted 28 September 2017
Available online 05 October 2017
0263-8223/ © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
A.T. Martins et al. Composite Structures 184 (2018) 352–361

a great weight penalty and potentially decrease of glass transition (Tg) technique which contributes along with other techniques [9–20] to
[14,16]. Moreover, because the toughened resin layers have relatively improve the delamination behavior of composite structures.
lower stiffness and strength, their application has to be limited in order The research works based on tufted composites have not been ex-
not to alter the overall composite performance [19,20]. pressively presented in the literature, especially concerning to increase
Interesting enhancements in the transversal mechanical properties the mode II fracture toughness. This case is very important to the out-
of the laminate composites can be achieved using three-dimensional of-plane impact loading because the delamination cracks resulting to
(3D) reinforcements. Three-dimensional textile composites contain a the impact are driven especially by mode II shear [33]. Therefore, this
3D network of planar and through-the-thickness reinforcement (TTR) research investigates the behavior of inclined tufting reinforcements in
fibers. There are several types of 3D textile composites, and they are order to increase the damage tolerance of the carbon fiber laminate
classified according to the method by which the 3D fibers reinforcement composites under impact and evaluating their CAI strength.
are formed within the material [21]. The main methods are 3D Moreover, in the majority of works presented on impact resistance
weaving, stitching, tufting, z-anchoring and z-pinning which are well and compression after impact, there is a lack of studies which deal with
dependent on the applied material (ex. dry perform or pre-im- the detection of the first major damage. Indeed, it is this load level that
pregnated) and end application. must be taken into account in a design project, while the maximum
In the present work, the tufting process has been used. It is a one- stress reached, although interesting to evaluate, is not important in a
sided stitching process in which the needle pushes high-strength yarn project. Therefore, it has seemed interesting to focus on the detection of
into the fabric and tufts are held in place when the needles are with- this first level of damage. Nevertheless, it is quite difficult to visualize
drawn by friction resistance imposed through the fabric [21]. The ad- this event using the stress curve alone. In this study, two techniques
vantage of tufting is the low tension under which the thread is inserted. were used to accurately detect the major damage initiation point: the
This results in a reduction of the stitching effect on the in-plane prop- acoustic emission (AE) technique by means of clustering analysis as-
erties of polymer matrix composites [9]. TTR in the form of stitching sociated with digital image correlation (DIC). It contributes to esti-
has been shown to increase the fracture toughness under both mode I mating the effect of tufting parameters (density and angle) in the in-
and II loading [22]. In general, for mode I, the interlaminar loading itiation of the first major damage on compression after impact.
increases the delamination resistance by reducing the crack opening Moreover, it is possible to identify a class of acoustic signals related to
displacement, while in mode II, it increases the delamination resistance this point which will cause the failure on CAI.
by resisting crack sliding displacement [23].
Karuppannan et al. [9] compared unidirectional and quasi-isotropic
tufted carbon fabric composites and showed that in-plane properties of 2. Materials and methods
quasi-isotropic and notched composites are not well affected with
transversal tufting reinforcement. Also, the mode I fracture toughness 2.1. Materials
obtained values more than 16 times greater compared with non-tufted
composites. Deconinck et al. [24] studied the high-velocity impact-in- Woven carbon fabric/epoxy composites were manufactured using a
duced behavior on tufted carbon fiber composites laminates. They 5HS woven fabric from 6K with an areal density of 364 g/m2. For the
found that delamination area was decreased by 24% when the tufting tufting process, 2K Tenax-J HTA 40 carbon thread wrapped by two PBO
density was increased compared with specimens without tufting. Colin yarns was employed to reinforce the carbon fabric preform. Two la-
de Verdiere et al. [25] studied the tufting effect on mode II fracture minates with the layup [0]12 were processed according to the angle of
toughness of the carbon non crimp fabric composites. It showed about 2 the reinforcement insertion. The transversal and angular tufting threads
times higher than the non-tufted samples. Dell'Anno et al. [26] in- were inserted parallel and at ± 30° to the normal plane (Fig. 1) of the
vestigated the Compression After Impact (CAI) strength on carbon fiber preform respectively. The insertion at ± 30° was chosen as the max-
composites laminates reinforced by tufting with carbon and glass imum angle possible due to the machine limits. Also, the preforms had
threads. The authors reported an increase of CAI strength by 25% and different tufting densities divided by zones for the reference (non-
27% for carbon and glass threads respectively. They also reported 10% tufted), 5 × 5 and 10 × 10 mm tufted square patterns.
of the decrease in static tensile modulus and strength for the glass tufted The tufting reinforcements were performed by KUKA 6-axis robot
laminate. The improvements on CAI strength were also reported by arm (KR 100-2 HA 2000). Pressure foot to compact the dry preforms
Scarponi et al. [27], when compared to non-tufted composites, em- during the process was develop and manufacture by a 3D printer. It was
ploying tufted aramid fibers reinforcements. They studied the techni- made with a flat surface in order to avoid misalignments on fabric tows,
ques of low and high tensioned lock stitch, tufting and z-pinning to homogenizing the force applied. The process used polyurethane foam as
reinforce trough-the-thickness carbon fiber preforms. The tufted lami- well as a nylon film placed under dry preform to hold the tuft loops.
nates showed CAI strength superior to the others techniques and The composite plates were molded by VARTM with EPOLAM 5015
especially 16% higher than the non-tufted laminates. epoxy resin system. During infusion process, the vacuum pressure was
Also, the improvements on out-of-plane properties were reported for about −1 bar at room temperature. The cure cycle was performed at
sandwich structures reinforced by stitching. Lascoup et al. [28] ob- room temperature for 24 h and post cured at 80 °C for 16 h. The final
tained improvements under 4-point bending tests in the bending thickness was about 5 mm. Then, samples with 100 × 150 mm di-
module (278%) and maximum stress (9 times greater) when compared mensions were prepared for the impact and CAI tests. The specimens
with the non-tufted specimens. Moreover, great values on transversal were designated according to the tufting density and angle as REF for
flatwise compression tests were achieved with intrinsic modulus non-tufted, T10 and T5 for 10 × 10 and 5 × 5 mm transversal square
growing by a coefficient 14 and the ultimate stress by a factor 8. The patterns respectively. A10 and A5 were designated to angular tufting
impact resistance was also enhanced and reported by different authors ( ± 30°) with 10 × 10 and 5 × 5 mm square patterns respectively.
[29–32].In general, the stitched sandwich composites were capable of
bearing greater the impact load, absorb more the impact energy, reduce
damaged area and penetration depth. 2.2. Compression before impact
This introduction reviews, in a non-exhaustive manner, various
works about the through-the-thickness reinforcements. In general, these Compression Before Impact (CBI) was performed to three samples of
reinforcements provide out-of-plane improvements and in-plane re- the REF, A5 and T5 configuration. They were tested according to the
duction of the mechanical properties. Consequently, it is important to standard test method ASTM D6641/D6641M-01 [34].
well understand this subject in order to better control the tufting

A.T. Martins et al. Composite Structures 184 (2018) 352–361

Fig. 1. Angular tufting manufacturing and the tufted pre-

form schema.

Square paƩern (x=y)


TuŌing path

TuŌing direcƟon

2.3. Drop-weight impact tests [37–39]. This method allows measuring with precision, especially
smaller dent depth frequently produced by low-velocity impacts.
Three specimens of each configuration were tested in the Instron Additionally, two wideband sensors (Micro80 - 200–900 kHz) for
Dynatup 9250HV drop-weight impact machine under 25 and 60J im- Acoustic Emission (AE) activity were longitudinally placed 45 mm from
pact energies. The low-velocity impact at 25J was evaluated before to the center of the sample, one in each side of the transversal axis. Fig. 3
be chosen in order to create barely visible impact damage (BVID) in the exhibits the multi-instrumented CAI test with cameras and AE sensors
composites. Differently, medium velocity impact at 60J was submitted after sample failure.
to create visible damages in the specimens. The main goal was to
evaluate the tufted composites behavior in the two classes of impact
3. Results and discussions
velocity (low and medium) which are intended to create different da-
mages levels, under impact and compression after impact. The impact
3.1. Drop-weight impact
energy was controlled by varying the velocity while keeping the same
mass to the tests. The specimens were 100 × 150 mm according ASTM
The curves load vs. deflection were plotted in Figs. 4 and 5 to the 25
D7136-15 [35]. Further, a laser sensor was used on the bottom side of
and 60J impact energies respectively. Initially, they show firstly a linear
the samples, placed in the middle of the laminate to evaluate the out-of-
part followed by a first load drop. Then, the second part is characterized
plane displacement.
by a stiffness loss before the maximum load. The general behavior
The damaged area from impact tests was observed on ultrasound C-
confirmed the enhancement of composite toughness by the tufted
Scan using a pulse-echo immersion mode with a 10 MHz focal trans-
composites during tests, showing a maximum deflection to the non-
ducer. Moreover, the characterization of the damaged area was made
tufted (REF) and lower to the higher angular density (A5).
from the images built with eco rebound from the back surface. It was
It is important to note that in both energies the delamination onset
performed in an 80 × 80 mm area from the center of the sample sur-
force (Ponset) was higher in the angular tufting samples than in the
face. The C-Scan images were analyzed on ImageJ software to calculate
transversal, especially to the densest samples as summarized in Table 1.
the damaged area after conversion on binary images.
This onset point means the first significant damages which results in the
stiffness loss. Then, in the case of out-of-plane impact, the angled
2.4. Compression after impact tufting increases the delamination resistance by resisting crack sliding
Compression After Impact (CAI) tests were performed with a sup- Moreover, during the impact tests, the deflection was measured on
port according to the specified in ASTM D7137-12 [36] to avoid the bottom side of the samples aided by a laser system. The results of
buckling. These tests were monitored on Digital Image Correlation maximum deflection are compared for both energies in Table 1.
(DIC) to evaluate the out-of-plane displacements (w) of a single side Transversal tufting presented a little improvement in comparison to
surface (impacted surface) taking series of digital photographs from a angular reinforcement to resist the transversal deflection in the both
stereo-system with two stereo cameras (camera CC-0003 by ALLIED impacted energies. The results can be attributed to the carbon tufting
Vision Technologies) throughout the loading history and correlating threads aligned transversally which enhance the trough-the-thickness
them with the software VIC 3D®. The parameters of subset and step size stiffness. Also, as expected, the maximum deflection was inversely
used to correlate were 29 and 7 respectively. The area chosen to ana- proportional to the tufting density as a result of the enhancement in the
lyze the mean out-of-plane displacement (w) was 30 × 30 mm cen- transversal stiffness.
tralized in the impacted zone. Further, Fig. 6 shows the typical damaged area of the different
Also, it was compared the dent depth among the sample config- sample configurations to the two impact energies studied. The images
urations from the DIC analysis before CAI test initiation (Fig. 2). The obtained by C-Scan characterization were prepared and analyzed on
dent depth measured by DIC has been used by different authors software ImageJ. It is seen that the tufting reinforcements change the

A.T. Martins et al. Composite Structures 184 (2018) 352–361

Fig. 2. The contour plot and the equivalent 3D image of the

z,w impacted specimen on Z field.

Dent depth

Fig. 5. Typical load-deflection curves during impact at 60J.

Table 1
Ponset values and maximum deflection at both impacted energies.
Fig. 3. Multi-instrumented CAI test with AE sensors and DIC cameras.
Sample Ponset (N ± SD) Max. deflection (mm ± SD)

25J 60J 25J 60J

REF 6.31 ± 0.08 6.52 ± 0.08 4.78 ± 0.24 7.03 ± 0.15

T10 7.00 ± 0.07 7.15 ± 0.01 3.66 ± 0.06 6.39 ± 0.22
T5 7.98 ± 0.09 8.99 ± 0.01 3.47 ± 0.16 5.59 ± 0.11
A10 6.85 ± 0.62 6.71 ± 0.22 3.84 ± 0.13 6.61 ± 0.14
A5 8.18 ± 0.74 11.30 ± 0.01 3.33 ± 0.13 6.02 ± 0.07

A10, which did not follow the behavior as in the lower energy. Also, in
this impact energy, the angular tufting becomes more efficient to re-
strain fissures development, especially delamination, which is shown
from the lower increase in the damaged area from 25 to 60J when
compared with transversal tufting. Moreover, when comparing the
maximum deflection at the bottom side of impact (Table 1) with the
damaged area (Fig. 7), it is seen that the damaged area is directly
proportional to the deflection. For example, the reference deflects the
most among the configurations under impact because their lower out-
of-plane toughness which creates and develops more the fissures,
especially as delamination when compared with the other samples.
Fig. 4. Typical load-deflection curves during impact at 25J.
Further, the T10 and A10 configurations decrease the deflection under
impact when compared with the reference, and it is the cause of the
damaged area as well as their parameters (angle and density). reduction in the damaged area. Finally, the optimal results are achieved
The damaged area values according to the tufting parameters are for the densest tufted specimens.
shown to the both impact energies in Fig. 7. The results showed that the Therefore, it is possible to conclude that tufting reinforcement re-
damaged area is inversely proportional to the tufting density. Ad- duces the crack development by concentrating the damage in a small
ditionally, the transversal tufted samples impacted at 25J were the most area. In relation to the angular parameter, among the specimens espe-
efficient to restrain the delamination progress. However, in the samples cially at 60J, there are no expressively differences between angular and
impacted at 60J, the T10 configuration had larger damaged area than transversal tufting.

A.T. Martins et al. Composite Structures 184 (2018) 352–361

Fig. 6. C-Scan images from the impacted samples config-

REF T10 T5 A10 A5 ured and analyzed on ImageJ.



fabric interface and then continue propagating as delamination. The

damages on the bottom layer are due to high tensile stress induced by
the bending on impact loading. The sample behaves as reported in the
literature to impacted fabric composites. Fig. 8b shows the crack de-
velopment to the laminate reinforced transversally, T5. Differently, to
the non-tufted specimen, delamination is no longer evident and the
cracks are in the majority from the matrix at 45°. The tufting threads
inhibit the crack development by displacing the crack tips to around
them, decreasing the damage energy. Also, improving the through-the-
thickness stiffness means lower tensile stress response due to bending
by the impact. This behavior can be verified by the decrease of damage
in the bottom layer when compared with the reference. From the Fig. 8c
it is seen that delamination is more important than in the transversal
samples but less than in the reference. The tuft threads had the role to
deviates the cracks and especially stop the delamination progress.
Moreover, significant cracks appear from the surface to inside of the
composite around the threads. Besides, differently, that was planned
the threads did not cross near the middle plane of the thickness. The
Fig. 7. Average of damaged area for: REF; T10; T5; A10 and A5 samples at 25J and 60 J. first reason was the applied angle of ± 30° to the normal of the surface.
Also, it was seen porosity concentration near to the threads which is the
Fig. 8a–c show optical micrographs from REF, T5 and A5 specimens counter effect of the angular tufting process.
impacted at 25J, respectively. The principal cracks are highlighted in Furthermore, to the both tufting configurations, the threads were
the figures. Fig. 8a presents the trough-the-thickness crack evolution for not straight as expected. It is caused by the preform compaction during
the non-tufted sample. It is possible to note that matrix cracks at ap- VARTM process. This fact must be taken into account especially in fu-
proximately 45° due to transverse shear stress develop until reach the ture finite element analysis. In addition, a resin layer caused by the
tufting threads loops is created on the surface of the laminate which

Fig. 8. Optical micrographs for: a) reference; b) T5 and c)

A5 impacted at 25J.

A.T. Martins et al. Composite Structures 184 (2018) 352–361

Fig. 11. Dent depth from impacted surface and its comparison to the damaged area at

weaken the structure on compression unless that the tufting density

helps to reduce this phenomenon.

3.2. Compression after impact

Fig. 9. Schematization of the impact damages for the sample configurations: a) A5; b)
A10; c) T5; d) T10 and e) reference.
The images took before CAI tests were analyzed on VIC 3D for the Z
displacement field. Figs. 10 and 11 exhibit the dent depth obtained
helps crack initiation and development as one can see in Fig. 8b and c. from the impacted surfaces of the different configurations impacted at
From the microscopy observations, a typical damage scenario is 25 and 60J respectively. Moreover, the damaged area images obtained
schematized for each sample and shown in Fig. 9. In the non-tufted by C-Scan were compared with these results. The increase of the impact
sample (Fig. 9e), the damage develops from the impacted point to the energy also increases the dent depth. In general, the tufting reinforce-
distal face in a conical shape as well described in the literature. In the ment increases the dent depth by improving the trough-the-thickness
case of the tufted composite laminates it has been remarked that: stiffness. It is also related to the maximum deflection under impact
which was already discussed. In comparison to the damaged area, the
• By increasing the tufting density the dent depth after impact is also dent depth shows inversely proportional, especially to the 60J results. It
increased, regardless of the tufting angle. The dent depth measure can be explained by the tufting role in the composites.
was performed by DIC and shown in Figs. 10 and 11. The tufting threads prevent the failure development in the lami-
• The damages are mainly developed at 45° (matrix cracks) to the nates, especially for delamination, when impacted. The delamination is
transversal tufted laminates (T5 and T10 in Fig. 9c and d respec- enclosed in a smaller zone when compared to the reference due to the
tively) while they are in the majority at 0° (delamination) to the energy concentration by the threads, which creates a larger dent depth
laminates with inclined tufts (A5 and A10 in Fig. 9a and b respec- in the tufted samples. Otherwise, reference samples dissipate the impact
tively). energy through the failure mechanisms, as delamination.
• The damaged area diminishes with the increase in the tufting den- The typical behavior of the samples on CAI tests are shown in the
sity. Figs. 12 and 13 to the specimens submitted at 25 and 60J impact en-
• The angular tufted laminates show impact damages larger than the ergies respectively. In both energies, the reference sample curves dis-
composites reinforced with traversal tufts. These damages on an- tinguish from the others with a visible drop load near to the ultimate
gular tufted samples are mainly for delamination, which should

Fig. 10. Dent depth from impacted surface and its comparison to the damaged area at
25J. Fig. 12. Typical behavior on CAI tests to the samples impacted at 25J.

A.T. Martins et al. Composite Structures 184 (2018) 352–361

Table 2
Ultimate compressive strength on CBI and CAI tests, and the residual ratio (CAI/CBI).

Ultimate strength (MPa ± SD) Residual Residual

ratio (%) ratio (%)
CBI CAI 25J CAI 60J 25J 60J

REF 453.1 ± 40.9 176.1 ± 1.3 137.4 ± 1.1 38.9 30.3

T5 323.9 ± 28.9 223.5 ± 2.5 171.5 ± 2.9 69.0 52.9
A5 271.9 ± 19.7 178.9 ± 4.9 157.8 ± 4.9 65.8 58.0

Class 0
Class 1
30000 Class 2
Class 3


Fig. 13. Typical behavior on CAI tests to the samples impacted at 60J.



0 20000 40000 60000
Energy (J)
Fig. 16. Clustered signals for the sample configuration A5 impacted at 25J under CAI.

tufting density. Additionally, the transversal tufted laminates were

more capable to contain the buckling in comparison to the angular
tufted composites. Furthermore, the difference between the reference
and the tufted composites are better seen for those impacted at 25J.
This response is related to the lower amount of damaged tuft threads in
this energy which makes them more able to restrain the opening me-
chanism and unstable compression than the samples impacted at 60J.
Fig. 14 summarizes the mean ultimate compressive strength
Fig. 14. Ultimate compressive strength comparison for the different sample configura- achieved in the samples under CAI tests. It is possible to note that the
tions. only configuration which showed lower CAI ultimate strength than
reference was A10. In general, the tufting reinforcement plays a role to
strength. The delaminations generated during impact weak the samples increase the transversal strength of the samples. The tufted samples
on CAI. They cause buckling deflection reverse on the impact side and showed a better behavior to retain the failure, especially avoiding de-
reduces the load carrying capacity of the delaminated plates [39]. This lamination progress by means of the opening mode (mode I) under CAI,
failure is reduced for the tufted specimens, especially increasing the which was considered the principal factor to buckling the samples and

Fig. 15. Schematization of the damage on CAI of the com-

posite laminates: a) A10 and b) A5.

A.T. Martins et al. Composite Structures 184 (2018) 352–361

Fig. 17. Clustered signals, compressive stress and w as time

function of the sample configuration A5 on CAI impacted at

Fig. 18. Comparison of Class 1 from clustered signals of the

different sample configurations on CAI impacted at 25J.

Table 3 that significant damage created on impact tests is concentrated around

Normalized stress obtained from the cumulative energy curves (Class 1) at the P0 point. the tufting threads as exemplified in the Fig. 9a and b for A5 and A10
configuration respectively. The cracks in this region are initiated on
Configuration Stress at P0
impact and advance on CAI tests as schematized in Fig. 15. It can be due
25J 60J to the maximum shear stress that is produced on CAI tests at 45° which
is closer to the tufting insertion angle. This becomes very critical for the
REF 1000 1000 A10 configuration (Fig. 15a) where it will generate an early failure
T10 1197 1130
T5 1791 1379
when compare with T10. Additionally, the results of the damaged area
A10 0722 1037 by C-Scan image analysis as a planar view of the through-the-thickness
A5 1272 1109 damages are not capable of distinguish the cracks around the threads,
small in a plan visualization, which can decrease significantly the
compressive strength on CAI. It will be necessary for the future to
earlier failure. The CAI strength achieved improvements of 6% (T10), analyze this kind of damage by microtomography. This is evident
27% (T5) and 2% (A5) when impacted at 25J in comparison with the especially to the A10 samples impacted at 60J which had the damaged
reference. To the samples impacted at 60J, the improvements were 19% area lower than the T10 configuration. These cracks also appear for the
(T10), 25% (T5) and 15% (A5). Unfortunately, the A10 configuration A5 configuration, but due to the crossing of the threads near to the
decreased the CAI strength about 21% and 10% (25 and 60J respec- surface the cracks are not propagate in this region. Also, the fissures
tively). which propagate from the bottom side of the samples (opposite to the
It is remarkable that for the angular reinforcement configurations impacted surface) around the tufted threads, are deflected and bridged

A.T. Martins et al. Composite Structures 184 (2018) 352–361

by the threads which avoid the loss of resistance when compared with relation between damage area and dent depth is inversely proportional.
the A10 configuration, as shown in Fig. 15b. The results on CAI tests showed superiority to in the majority of the
The specimens which achieved the best results on CAI were com- tufting reinforcements. Unfortunately, angular tufting A10 samples
pared with those on CBI as manner to evaluate in-plane properties of showed CAI strength lower than the reference which becomes necessary
the tufted composites (Table 2). The loss of in-plane ultimate com- a higher tufting density as A5 to improve this property. This sample
pressive strength arrived until 29% to the T5 configuration and 40% to configuration (A10) should be investigated in the future to better un-
A5. This reduction has been reported to many authors which research derstanding. Also, despite the greater results on delamination onset in
trough-the-thickness reinforcements [9,18,40,41]. The development of the impact tests as well impact deflection and damaged areas similar to
the numerical methods for modeling mechanical properties of the the transversal tufting, especially compared to 5 × 5 mm squared
transversal reinforcements in the composite should diminish their im- patterns, angular sample configurations showed the lower increase. The
pact on the in-plane properties. However, the tufted specimens showed CAI strength was 27% and 2% at 25J while at 60J they were 25% and
greater residual ratio (CAI/CBI) in comparison with the non-tufted 14% to T5 and A5 respectively.
specimens (approximately 30% superior to T5 at 25J and 28% to A5 at The data acquired from the multi-instrumented characterization
60J). during CAI tests showed that the tufting density and angle change the
The out-of-plane displacement characterized by DIC on CAI tests cumulative energy of acoustic emission signals. Then, with non-su-
evidenced the sudden displacement which is due to the local buckling. pervised signal classification on AE, it was possible to predict the first
This behavior was also seen on acoustic emission due to an important significant damages from a class of AE and correlate them with the
increase in the cumulative energy. Then, non-supervised clustering beginning of the suddenly out-of-plane displacement measured by DIC,
from acoustic emission signals was performed as a means of distinguish especially focused in the impacted zone. It is possible to note that
a class of acoustic signals which initiates with the major damages and tufting reinforcement avoids plies opening as result of delamination
results in the sudden failure of the laminates. The classification used the process under compression loads and the transversal tufting was more
parameters of signal amplitude, counts to peak, counts and energy, as efficient to increase this fracture toughness.
input in the k-means method for classify the signals into 4 classes. This
method applied the parameters of Euclidian distance and random initial Acknowledgement
partitioning. Then, it was realized that a specific class of signal appears
at the moment which the out-of-plane displacement is higher and The author A. T. Martins would like to acknowledge the PhD
abrupt failure happens. This class is shown in Fig. 16, named Class 1. It scholarship awarded by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento
is possible to note that this class is composed of signals from lower to Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) – Brazil.
medium energy as well their counts.
Fig. 17 exhibits the out-of-plane displacement related to the com- References
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