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International Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 372167, 11 pages
Research Article

High-Velocity Impact Behaviour of Prestressed Composite Plates under Bird Strike Loading

Department of Structures Engineering, Production and Aeromechanics, EADS Innovation Works, Willy-Messerschmitt-Straße, 81663 Munich, Germany

Received 11 October 2011; Revised 12 January 2012; Accepted 17 January 2012

Academic Editor: Mark Price

Copyright © 2012 Sebastian Heimbs and Tim Bergmann. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An experimental and numerical analysis of the response of laminated composite plates under high-velocity impact loads of soft body gelatine projectiles (artificial birds) is presented. The plates are exposed to tensile and compressive preloads before impact in order to cover realistic loading conditions of representative aeronautic structures under foreign object impact. The modelling methodology for the composite material, delamination interfaces, impact projectile, and preload using the commercial finite element code Abaqus are presented in detail. Finally, the influence of prestress and of different delamination modelling approaches on the impact response is discussed and a comparison to experimental test data is given. Tensile and compressive preloading was found to have an influence on the damage pattern. Although this general behaviour could be predicted well by the simulations, further numerical challenges for improved bird strike simulation accuracy are highlighted.