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Title: Inverse method for stiffness determination of impact damage in composites
Author: Sztefek, Pavel
ISNI:       0000 0004 2678 8641
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2009
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The limited knowledge of stiffness reductions is a major problem in reliably predicting the post-impact strength of composite structures. This work describes development and application of a non-destructive approach for evaluation of the inplane stiffness of impact damage in composites. The approach combines an inverse method linked to a finite element model and non-contact full-field measurements. The material parameters of impact damage are determined by iteratively matching the finite element model to displacement fields measured optically during post-impact loading. A first order, gradient optimization technique coupled with a modified quadratic algorithm is employed. The method is validated on a reference finite element model with axisymmetric damage containing several concentric zones having different properties, and the influence of measurement noise is examined. The approach is applied to in-house experiments with impacted carbon/epoxy laminates to determine their quasi-isotropic mechanical properties in tension and compression. The resulting stiffness distributions are presented and the corresponding nonlinear behaviour of the damage is described. To examine the effect of the type of damage on the mechanical properties a thorough fractographic analysis of the impacted specimens was undertaken. The tensile stiffness is found to be mainly affected by fibre fracture, while the compressive stiffness is strongly linked to delamination buckling. The approach has further been extended for detection and evaluation of multiple impact damage zones at arbitrary locations as well as for stiffness identification of the damage in orthotropic laminates. The accuracy of both extensions is presented and discussed. Finally, possible future applications of the approach are considered.
Supervisor: Greenhalgh, Emile ; Olsson, Robin Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral