In this work, two hybrid composite structures were designed, modeled, and tested for improved resistance to impact. They were inspired by bistable composite structures, which are structures composed of two parts: a so-called “main link” and a so-called “waiting link.” These links work together as a mechanism that will provide enhanced damage tolerance, and the structure exhibits a bistable stress/strain curve under static tension. The function of the main link is to break early, at which point the waiting link becomes active and provides a redundant load path. The goal of the current study was to design, manufacture, and test a similar concept for impact loading and achieve greatly improved impact resistance per unit weight. In the current project, the main link was designed to be a brittle composite material (in this case, woven carbon/epoxy) exposed to impact, while the waiting link was chosen to be made with a highly nonlinear and strong composite material (in this case, polyethylene/epoxy), on the opposite surface. Hence, the structure, if proven successful, can be considered an enhanced hybrid concept. An explicit finite element (FE) commercial code, LS-DYNA, was used to design and analyze the baseline as well as two proposed designs. The simulations' methodology was validated with results published in the literature, which reported tests from linear fiber-reinforced composites. The plots were obtained via the ASCII files generated from the FE code, processed using matlab®, and compared to experimental impact tests. An instrumented drop-weight testing machine performed impact tests, and a high-speed camera validated the specimens' displacement under impact. It is shown that the FE model provided qualitative behavior very consistent with the experiments but requires further improvements. Experimentally, it is shown that one of the two enhanced hybrid models leads to up to a 30% increase of returned energy/weight when compared to its baseline and, therefore, is worthy of further investigations.
Finite Element Modeling and Experimental Characterization of Enhanced Hybrid Composite Structures for Improved Crashworthiness
University of California,
Universidad de Guanajuato,
Manuscript received April 27, 2012; final manuscript received August 28, 2012; accepted manuscript posted January 28, 2013; published online July 19, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Martin Ostoja-Starzewski.
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Arronche, L., Martínez, I., La Saponara, V., and Ledesma, E. (July 19, 2013). "Finite Element Modeling and Experimental Characterization of Enhanced Hybrid Composite Structures for Improved Crashworthiness." ASME. J. Appl. Mech. September 2013; 80(5): 050902. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4023495
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