Damage accumulation in braided textiles-reinforced composites under repeated impacts: Experimental and numerical studies

© 2018 Elsevier Ltd Composites reinforced with braided textiles exhibit high structural stability and excellent damage tolerance, making them very attractive for defence, aerospace, automotive and energy industries. Considering the real-life service environment, it is crucial to study a dynamic response of a composite structure and its energy-dissipation ability, especially under repeated low-velocity impacts. So, a series of drop-weight tests were carried out followed by X-ray computed micro-tomography to characterize damage morphology of braided composite specimens. Meanwhile, a multi-scale computational approach was explored and implemented as a user-defined-material subroutine (VUMAT) for ABAQUS/Explicit to capture main damage modes of a braided textile composite, while its delamination was modelled by employing cohesive-zone elements. Load- and energy-time curves were obtained both experimentally and numerically. The predicted levels of peak forces and absorbed energy were found to agree with the experimental data. An extent of delamination and damage accumulation in the braided composite was predicted numerically and analysed; it was found that material responses to repeated impacts had two types depending on the level of normalised impact energy. The presented modelling capability could contribute to design of braided composite structures for various applications.