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The Growth of Impact Damage in Compressively Loaded Laminates


Chai, Herzl (1982) The Growth of Impact Damage in Compressively Loaded Laminates. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/58D3-ZZ41.


The thesis is divided into two chapters. The first chapter describes an experimental program carried out to determine the phenomenological aspects of composite panel failure (graphite/epoxy laminate) under simultaneous in-plane compression and low velocity transverse impact (0-250 ft/sec). High-speed photography and the shadow moire technique were used to record a full-field surface deformation history of the impacted plate. The information gained from these records, supplemented by plate sectioning and observation for interior damage, has shown that the predominant failure mechanism is the coupled effect of delamination and buckling.

In chapter 2, this process of failure is modelled by delamination buckling wherein the local delamination stability, growth or arrest are governed by an energy release rate criterion. Various degrees of problem simplifications are employed, starting with a one-dimensional, delaminated-beam model. In the most sophisticated treatment, it is assumed that the damaged area has an elliptical shape. It was found that this model is capable of describing the growth conditions and the growth behavior of the damaged area. It was also found that the predominant parameter controlling delamination growth or arrest is the fracture energy associated with delamination.

In the appendix at the end of this work, the fracture energy of a composite laminate is considered. A modified cleavage analysis is developed, and is applied to evaluate this quantity for two composite materials of current interest. The test results are then examined with reference to impact damage tolerance data available for these materials. A viscoelastic characterization of the two resins used to fabricate the two composites mentioned above is also provided. The results of these measurements are then examined with reference to long-term applicability of the matrix material.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Aeronautics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Babcock, Charles D.
Thesis Committee:
  • Knauss, Wolfgang Gustav (chair)
  • Miklowitz, Julius
  • Housner, George W.
  • Corcoran, William Harrison
  • Babcock, Charles D.
Defense Date:1 March 1982
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-04132004-084629
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1366
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:13 Apr 2004
Last Modified:15 May 2020 22:24

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