Influence of Binder Float Length on the Out-of-Plane and Axial Impact Performance of 3D Woven Composites

Calvin Ralph, Monali Dahale, Geoffrey Neale, Karthik Ramaswamy (Contributor), Michael McCarthy (Contributor), Sanghyun Yoo (Contributor), Nathalie Toso (Contributor), John Kelly, Cormac Mc Garrigle, E Archer, Eileen Harkin-Jones, AT McIlhagger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


This paper shows modifying binder float-length, an easily adjustable parameter, there is significant influence on impact energy absorption, impact resistance and damage tolerance in 3D-woven layer-to-layer carbon/epoxy composites. Binder float-length was changed by modifying textile design without changing loom set-up. Three float lengths (1/2, 2/2 and 3/2) in consistent architecture were woven using constant warp density. Out-of-plane drop-weight impact was performed at 32 J&42 J energy and showed increases in float-length decreased energy absorption by 49% and 32% respectively in warp direction with no significant changes in weft. Conversely, in axial impact tests, higher float length showed higher crush force efficiency and specific energy absorption. This study has also concluded, in both out-of-plane and axial impact scenarios, higher float lengths increase damage tolerance. This work has expanded how minor changes in preform parameters can significantly change both out-of-plane and in-plane impact performance of 3D-woven composites without increased manufacturing cost, time or complexity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106459
Number of pages17
JournalComposites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
Early online date7 May 2021
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by EU Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network- ICONIC [grant agreement number: 721256]. The authors acknowledge the support from the Engineering Composites Research Centre (ECRE) at Ulster University and Axis Composites Ltd, especially Roy Brelsford, Dr Glenda Stewart, Simon Hodge and Graeme Craig. The authors also acknowledge the help from Adrian McEvoy from University of Limerick.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • 3-Dimensional reinforcement
  • Damage tolerance
  • Impact behaviour
  • Weaving


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