Published in Composites Part B: Engineering, Vol. 42 (2), pp. 134-144, 2011
DOI: 10.1016/j.compositesb.2010.09.013


The numerical simulation of complex failure modes of composite materials, such as delamination, can be computationally very demanding, as it requires special elements and/or numerical strategies to characterize damage onset and propagation. This work presents several formulations developed to optimize the computational performance of an explicit finite element code designed specifically for the simulation of large scale composite structures. The composite mechanical performance is obtained with the matrix-reinforced mixing theory, a simplified version of the serial/parallel mixing theory that does not require an iterative procedure or the calculation of the tangent stiffness matrix. The number of elements required to perform the simulation is reduced by stacking several layers inside a single finite element. This work also proposes a modification of the isotropic damage law, capable of taking into account the residual strength provided by friction in type II fracture modes. The ability of these formulations to successfully predict the mechanical performance of composite materials is assessed with the ply drop-off test. In this test a laminate with a change of thickness in its mid-span is loaded until it breaks due to a delamination process. The formulation proposed obtains a very accurate prediction of the experimental response of the test, as it provides a very good characterization of the initial laminate stiffness, the delamination onset, and its propagation along the specimen

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Published on 01/01/2011

DOI: 10.1016/j.compositesb.2010.09.013
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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