Mitigating the weak impact response of thin-ply based thin laminates through an unsymmetrical laminate design incorporating intermediate grade plies
Journal article, 2019
With aeronautic industries focussing on thinner structures and reducing manufacturing costs, recent research has been dedicated to the impact and post impact response of thin laminates (<2 mm) made of textile fabric composites. A recent study revealed that thin laminates based on thin plies exhibit extensive fibre failure and a reduced compression after impact strength. To mitigate this weakness, we propose a novel laminate concept based on combining plies of different thicknesses in an unsymmetrical configuration (intermediate grade plies are located only at the bottom of the laminate, i.e., the non-impacted face). C-scan inspection on impacted and quasi-statically indented specimens, allowed the damage sequence of the proposed unsymmetrical hybrid laminate to be compared with that of the thin-ply baseline. The hybrid laminate with intermediate plies at the bottom, delayed and reduced the fibre damage, decreased the projected delamination area and led to a 30% increase in the compression after impact strength in contrast to the thin-ply baseline laminate.