This document presents the Dynamic Fracture Toughness (KID) measurement for a plain weave carbon-epoxy composite material. An instrumented Hopkinson bar arrangement is used to perform the tests with pre-cracked specimens loaded on a three point bending configuration. The material behavior obtained by the experimental results is compared with Finite Element simulation of static and idealized Hopkinson bars events. A number of important aspects are approached. Among them, the Stress Intensity Factor (SIF) for fiber-epoxy composites considered as transversely isotropic media, the formulae to obtain this parameter compared with isotropic materials, and the precise follow of the SIF evolution during these events. The Finite Element Analyses (FEAs) suggest loss of contact phenomena not only in the transmitted but also with the incident bar, and according to this, a specimen FEA is used to verify the influence of this loss of contact in the SIF evolution and KID calculations. Accordingly, a novel approach using the incident pulse as input for a FEA of the complete arrangement including contact elements is proposed and implemented, so the new revealed phenomena are taken into account. The experimental results using this approach show that the dynamic fracture toughness varies from 15.45 to 25.6 MPa*m0.5 in the projectile speed range between 10 and 20 m/s.
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