Low-velocity impact-induced damage of continuous fiber-reinforced composite laminates. Part I. An FEM numerical model

C. F. Li, N. Hu, Y. J. Yin, H. Sekine, H. Fukunaga

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124 Citations (Scopus)


A numerical model for simulating the process of low-velocity impact damage in composite laminates using the finite element method is presented in this paper, i.e. Part I of this two part series on the study of impact. In this model, the 9-node Lagrangian element of the Mindlin plate with consideration of large deformation analysis is employed. To analyze the transient response of the laminated plates, a modified Newmark time integration algorithm previously proposed by the authors is adopted here. We also proved that the impact process between a rigid ball and laminated plates is a stiff system, therefore a kind of A(α) stable method has been advocated here to solve the motion equation of the rigid ball. Furthermore, various types of damages including delamination, matrix cracking and fiber breakage, etc. and their mutual influences are modeled and investigated in detail. To overcome the difficulty of numerical oscillation or instability in the analysis of the dynamic contact problem between delaminated layers using the traditional penalty methods, we have employed dynamic spring constraints to simulate the contact effect, which are added to the numerical model by a kind of continuous penalty function. Moreover, an effective technique to calculate the strain energy release rate based on the Mindlin plate model is proposed, which can attain high precision. Finally, some techniques of adaptive analyses have been realized for improving the computational efficiency. Based on this model, a program has been developed for numerically simulating the damage process of cross-ply fiber-reinforced carbon/epoxy composite laminates under low-velocity impact load. In Part II, this numerical model will be verified by comparing with the experimental results. Also the impact damage will be investigated in detail using this numerical approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1055-1062
Number of pages8
JournalComposites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Aug 1


  • A. Polymer-matrix composites (PMCs)
  • B. Fracture
  • B. Impact behavior
  • C. Finite element analysis (FEA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials


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