Impact-induced delamination of composites: A 2D simulation

Philippe H. Geubelle, Jeffrey S. Baylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The delamination process in thin composite plates subjected to low-velocity impact is simulated using a specially developed 2D cohesive/volumetric finite element scheme. Cohesive elements are introduced along the boundaries of the inner layers and inside the transverse plies to simulate the spontaneous initiation and propagation of transverse matrix cracks and delamination fronts. The analysis is performed within the framework of the finite deformation theory of elasticity to account for the nonlinear stiffening of the thin composite plate and the large rotations which accompany the fracture process. The simulation is dynamic and uses an explicit time stepping scheme. Comparison with existing experiments performed on graphite/epoxy laminates indicates that the cohesive/volumetric finite element scheme is able to capture the complex mechanisms leading to the delamination, including the initial micro-cracking of the matrix, the appearance of critical transverse matrix cracks and the rapid propagation of delamination cracks initiated at the intersections between the critical matrix cracks and the adjacent plies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-602
Number of pages14
JournalComposites Part B: Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1998


  • B. delamination
  • Cohesive failure
  • Finite element

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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