Impact-Induced Delaminations in Thermoset and Thermoplastic Composites
Laminated fiber-reinforced composites are engineering materials with many desirable properties including high stiffness and strength. However, the lack of fiber reinforcement in the through-thickness direction makes composite laminates vulnerable to foreign object impact loading. Transverse impact loading can lead to a variety of damages including matrix cracking, delamination and fiber breakage. Delaminations can reduce the strength of a laminate, especially the compressive strength after impact. Impact loading typically causes multiple delaminations that vary in size and shape by depth location. The fracture behavior of impact damages has been a topic of extensive research . Recently significant advances have been made in the area of nondestructive evaluation (NDE) of impact damages in composites. For example, ultrasound is used to map out the details of impact-induced delaminations with ply-by-ply resolution .
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