Modelling low-velocity impact damage and compression after impact of 3D woven structures considering compaction

Scott Millen, Calvin Ralph, Monali Dahale, E Archer, AT McIlhagger, Anto Antony Samy, Katrina Thompson, Tom Fisher, Karthik Ramaswamy, Zahur Ullah, Brian Falzone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
74 Downloads (Pure)


A novel finite element modelling approach is presented which incorporates representative binder yarn compaction, for simulating the low-velocity impact (LVI) and compression after impact (CAI) response of 3D woven layer-to-layer carbon/epoxy composite architectures. Simulations of out-of-plane drop-weight impact tests were performed at energies of 32 J and 42 J. Warp and weft layers were modelled as continuous plies and three different approaches were explored to model the binder reinforcement; (i) with a rectangular cross-section and non-compacted, (ii) with an elliptical cross-section and non-compacted, and (iii) an elliptical cross-section which accounts for compaction. Predictions were compared with experimental results from literature and it is shown that modelling the binder reinforcement as an elliptical cross-section with compaction leads to a predicted damage area, on the impacted side, which is within 2%, and the non-impacted side within 6% of experimental measurements. The predicted CAI strength is within 11% of the experimental values.
Original languageEnglish
Article number117104
Number of pages13
JournalComposite Structures
Early online date1 May 2023
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 15 Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was conducted as part of the Belfast Maritime Consortium UKRI Strength in Places project, ‘Decarbonisation of Maritime Transportation: A return to Commercial Sailing’ led by Artemis Technologies, Project no. 107138. Data availability statement, The raw/processed data required to reproduce these findings cannot be shared at this time as the data also forms part of an ongoing study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors


  • 3-Dimensional reinforcement
  • finite element analysis (FEA)
  • Impact behaviour
  • Damage mechanics
  • Compression after impact
  • 3-Dimensional reinforcement, Finite element analysis (FEA)


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