A SEM-Based Study of Structural Impact Damage


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The ultimate objective of the current programme of work is to detect and quantify low-velocity impact damage in structures made from composite materials. There are many situations in the use of composites where an impact does not result in perforation of the material but causes damage that may not be visible, yet still causes a substantial reduction in structural properties. Impacts that do not cause perforation are usually termed low-velocity. When a composite structure undergoes such impacts, it is important to know the type and level of damage and assess the residual strength. In this study, following a systematic series of experiments on the induction of impact damage in composite specimens, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) was used to inspect the topographies of the specimens at high magnification. Matrix cracking, fibre fracture, fibre pullout and delamination were the types of damage observed in the composite laminates after the low-velocity impacts. The study also conducted a (very) preliminary correlation between the damage modes and the impact energy.



Edited by:

R.A.W. Mines and J.M. Dulieu-Barton






M.T.H. Sultan et al., "A SEM-Based Study of Structural Impact Damage", Applied Mechanics and Materials, Vols. 24-25, pp. 233-238, 2010

Online since:

June 2010


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