Applied Composite Materials

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 225-244

First online:

Test and Modelling of Impact on Pre-Loaded Composite Panels

  • A. K. PickettAffiliated withInstitute for Aircraft Design, University of Stuttgart Email author 
  • , M. R. C. FouinneteauAffiliated withSchool of Applied Science, Cranfield University
  • , P. MiddendorfAffiliated withEADS

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Currently test and simulation of low and high speed impact of Aerospace composite structures is undertaken in an unloaded state. In reality this may not be the case and significant internal stresses could be present during an impact event such as bird strike during landing, or takeoff. In order to investigate the effects of internal loading on damage and failure of composite materials a series of experimental and simulation studies have been undertaken on three composite types having different fibres, resins and lay-ups. For each composite type panels have been manufactured and transversely impacted under the condition of ‘unloading’ or ‘pre-loading’. For preloading a rig has been constructed that can impose a constant in plane strain of up to 0.25% prior to impact. Results have clearly shown that preloading does lower the composite impact tolerance and change the observed failure modes. Simulation of experiments have also been conducted and have provided an encouraging agreement with test results in terms of both impact force time histories and prediction of the observed failure mechanisms.


A- carbon fibres B- impact behaviour C- damage mechanics D- finite element analysis E-failure criterion