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When low velocity and energy impact is exerted on a laminated composite material, in a perpendicular direction to the plane of the laminate, invisible damage may develop. It is shown analytically and experimentally that the invisible damage occurs during the first stage of contact between the impactor and the laminate and is a result of the contact stresses. However, the residual flexural strength changes only slightly, because it depends mainly on the outer layers, and these remain undamaged. Repeated impact intensifies the damage inside the laminate and causes larger bending under equivalent impact load. Finally, when the damage is most severe, even though it is still invisible, the laminate fails because of bending on the tension side. If the repeated impact is halted before final fracture occurs the residual strength and modulus would decrease by a certain amount.
Associate professor, Technion-Isreal Institute of Technology, Moffett Field, CA
Stock #: CTR10132J