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Damage characteristics in laminated composite structures subjected to low-velocity impact

Konstantinos Stamoulis (Aviation Academy, Faculty of Technology, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Stelios K. Georgantzinos (National and Kapïdistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece)
G.I. Giannopoulos (Department of Materials Science, University of Patras, Patras, Greece)

International Journal of Structural Integrity

ISSN: 1757-9864

Article publication date: 4 September 2019

Issue publication date: 26 August 2020



The present study deals with the numerical modeling of the low-velocity impact damage of laminated composites which have increasingly important applications in aerospace primary structures. Such damage, generated by various sources during ground handling, substantially reduces the mechanical residual performance and the safe-service life. The purpose of this paper is to present and validate a computationally efficient approach in order to explore the effect of critical parameters on the impact damage characteristics.


Numerical modeling is considered as one of the most efficient tool as compared to the expensive and time-consuming experimental testing. In this paper, a finite element model based on explicit dynamics formulations is adopted. Hashin criterion is applied to predict the intralaminar damage initiation and evolution. The numerical analysis is performed using the ABAQUS® programme.


The employed modeling approach is validated using corresponding numerical data found in the literature and the presented results show a reasonable correlation to the available literature data. It is demonstrated that the current model can be used to capture the force-time response as well as damage parameter maps showing the intralaminar damage evolution for different impact cases with respect to the physical boundary conditions and a range of impact energies.


Low-velocity impact damage of laminated composites is still not well understood due to the complexity and non-linearity of the damage zone. The presented model is used to predict the force-time response which is considered as one of the most important parameters influencing the structural integrity. Furthermore, it is used for capturing the damage shape evolution, exhibiting a high degree of capability as a damage assessment computational tool.



Stamoulis, K., Georgantzinos, S.K. and Giannopoulos, G.I. (2020), "Damage characteristics in laminated composite structures subjected to low-velocity impact", International Journal of Structural Integrity, Vol. 11 No. 5, pp. 670-685.



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