Standard Active Last Updated: Nov 02, 2020 Track Document
ASTM D7136/D7136M-20

Standard Test Method for Measuring the Damage Resistance of a Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Matrix Composite to a Drop-Weight Impact Event

Standard Test Method for Measuring the Damage Resistance of a Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Matrix Composite to a Drop-Weight Impact Event D7136_D7136M-20 ASTM|D7136_D7136M-20|en-US Standard Test Method for Measuring the Damage Resistance of a Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Matrix Composite to a Drop-Weight Impact Event Standard new BOS Vol. 15.03 Committee D30
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Significance and Use

5.1 Susceptibility to damage from concentrated out-of-plane impact forces is one of the major design concerns of many structures made of advanced composite laminates. Knowledge of the damage resistance properties of a laminated composite plate is useful for product development and material selection.

5.2 Drop-weight impact testing can serve the following purposes:

5.2.1 To establish quantitatively the effects of stacking sequence, fiber surface treatment, variations in fiber volume fraction, and processing and environmental variables on the damage resistance of a particular composite laminate to a concentrated drop-weight impact force or energy.

5.2.2 To compare quantitatively the relative values of the damage resistance parameters for composite materials with different constituents. The damage response parameters can include dent depth, damage dimensions, and through-thickness locations, F1, Fmax, E1, and Emax, as well as the force versus time curve.

5.2.3 To impart damage in a specimen for subsequent damage tolerance tests, such as Test Method D7137/D7137M.

5.3 The properties obtained using this test method can provide guidance in regard to the anticipated damage resistance capability of composite structures of similar material, thickness, stacking sequence, and so forth. However, it must be understood that the damage resistance of a composite structure is highly dependent upon several factors, including geometry, thickness, stiffness, mass, support conditions, and so forth. Significant differences in the relationships between impact force/energy and the resultant damage state can result due to differences in these parameters. For example, properties obtained using this test method would more likely reflect the damage resistance characteristics of an unstiffened monolithic skin or web than that of a skin attached to substructure which resists out-of-plane deformation. Similarly, test specimen properties would be expected to be similar to those of a panel with equivalent length and width dimensions, in comparison to those of a panel significantly larger than the test specimen, which tends to divert a greater proportion of the impact energy into elastic deformation.

5.4 The standard impactor geometry has a blunt, hemispherical striker tip. Historically, for the standard laminate configuration and impact energy, this impactor geometry has generated a larger amount of internal damage for a given amount of external damage, when compared with that observed for similar impacts using sharp striker tips. Alternative impactors may be appropriate depending upon the damage resistance characteristics being examined. For example, the use of sharp striker tip geometries may be appropriate for certain damage visibility and penetration resistance assessments.

5.5 The standard test utilizes a constant impact energy normalized by specimen thickness, as defined in 11.7.1. Some testing organizations may desire to use this test method in conjunction with D7137/D7137M to assess the compressive residual strength of specimens containing a specific damage state, such as a defined dent depth, damage geometry, and so forth. In this case, the testing organization should subject several specimens, or a large panel, to multiple low velocity impacts at various impact energy levels using this test method. A relationship between impact energy and the desired damage parameter can then be developed. Subsequent drop weight impact and compressive residual strength tests can then be performed using specimens impacted at an interpolated energy level that is expected to produce the desired damage state.


1.1 This test method determines the damage resistance of multidirectional polymer matrix composite laminated plates subjected to a drop-weight impact event. The composite material forms are limited to continuous-fiber reinforced polymer matrix composites, with the range of acceptable test laminates and thicknesses defined in 8.2.

1.1.1 Instructions for modifying these procedures to determine damage resistance properties of sandwich constructions are provided in Practice D7766/D7766M.

1.2 A flat, rectangular composite plate is subjected to an out-of-plane, concentrated impact using a drop-weight device with a hemispherical impactor. The potential energy of the drop-weight, as defined by the mass and drop height of the impactor, is specified prior to test. Equipment and procedures are provided for optional measurement of contact force and velocity during the impact event. The damage resistance is quantified in terms of the resulting size and type of damage in the specimen.

1.3 The test method may be used to screen materials for damage resistance, or to inflict damage into a specimen for subsequent damage tolerance testing. When the impacted plate is tested in accordance with Test Method D7137/D7137M, the overall test sequence is commonly referred to as the Compression After Impact (CAI) method. Quasi-static indentation per Test Method D6264/D6264M may be used as an alternate method of creating damage from an out-of-plane force and measuring damage resistance properties.

1.4 The damage resistance properties generated by this test method are highly dependent upon several factors, which include specimen geometry, layup, impactor geometry, impactor mass, impact force, impact energy, and boundary conditions. Thus, results are generally not scalable to other configurations, and are particular to the combination of geometric and physical conditions tested.

1.5 Units—The values stated in either SI units or inch-pound units are to be regarded separately as standard. The values stated in each system are not necessarily exact equivalents; therefore, to ensure conformance with the standard, each system shall be used independently of the other, and values from the two systems shall not be combined.

1.5.1 Within the text, the inch-pound units are shown in brackets.

1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.7 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 15.03
Developed by Subcommittee: D30.05
Pages: 16
DOI: 10.1520/D7136_D7136M-20
ICS Code: 83.120