Low velocity heavy mass impact response of singly curved composites

Opukuro David-West, David Nash, William Banks

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This paper presents an extensive experimental investigation of singly curved fibre reinforced composite structures subjected to low energy heavy mass impact. The objective of the study is to understand the contribution the surface ply orientation makes to the resistance of the impact strike. Tests were conducted on laminate configurations suitable for various structural applications, using an instrumented drop weight (30 kg) device. Impact studies conducted were on curved symmetrical composite panels of [β2/452/-452/02/902]s stacking configuration where β = 0, 30, 45, 60, 90. The test samples were manufactured by the hand lay-up technique using unidirectional carbon fibre – epoxy matrix prepregs. The samples were simply supported. The impact properties such as the absorbed energy, bending stiffness, saturation energy, damage degree and the contact period were obtained from the response data; these were then related to the orientation of the surface plies. From this unique study, it was realized that surface ply orientation of singly curved composites significantly contributes to the energy absorption characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-33
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part L: Journal of Materials: Design and Applications
Issue number1
Early online date11 Feb 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • singly curved composites
  • absorbed energy
  • contact time
  • stiffness
  • damage degree
  • autoclave manufacture

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