A virtual testing based search for optimum compression after impact strength in thin laminates using ply-thickness hybridization and unsymmetrical designs
Journal article, 2020

In the quest to improve the compression after impact (CAI) strength of thin laminates, ply-hybrid laminates (where plies of different thicknesses are mixed) have been used in a previous study to mitigate the fibre failure and, consequently, improve the CAI strength. In the same study, hybrid laminates were proposed following qualitative design rules. In this paper, we systematically look for hybrid stacking sequences with improved damage tolerance by virtually testing all the laminates in a defined design space. While the laminates in the design space are made of intermediate and thick ply grades, the baseline laminate has only intermediate grade plies. Using an in-house numerical model, we virtually tested, (impact and CAI at two impact energies), all the candidate stacking sequences. The best hybrid laminates considerably improved the CAI strength over the baseline (31% and 40% improvement for the symmetric and unsymmetrical hybrid laminates, respectively). One of the best hybrid laminates was then manufactured and tested experimentally to validate the approach. Through virtual testing, this study demonstrates the benefits of using ply thickness hybrid laminates and the feasibility of optimizing the stacking sequence for impact damage tolerance.

impact behaviour

Finite element analysis (FEA)

Ply-thickness hybridization

Damage tolerance


A. Sasikumar

University of Girona

J. Costa

University of Girona

D. Trias

University of Girona

J. Llobet

University of Girona

I. R. Cozar

University of Girona

A. Turon

University of Girona

Peter Linde

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science

Composites Science and Technology

0266-3538 (ISSN)

Vol. 196 108188

Subject Categories

Aerospace Engineering

Geotechnical Engineering

Composite Science and Engineering



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