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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 382525, 10 pages
Research Article

On Complexities of Impact Simulation of Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composites: A Simplified Modeling Framework

School of Engineering, University of British Columbia, Kelowna, BC, Canada V1V 1V7

Received 1 July 2014; Accepted 22 September 2014; Published 10 November 2014

Academic Editor: Paolo Vannucci

Copyright © 2014 M. Alemi-Ardakani et al. 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.


Impact modeling of fiber reinforced polymer composites is a complex and challenging task, in particular for practitioners with less experience in advanced coding and user-defined subroutines. Different numerical algorithms have been developed over the past decades for impact modeling of composites, yet a considerable gap often exists between predicted and experimental observations. In this paper, after a review of reported sources of complexities in impact modeling of fiber reinforced polymer composites, two simplified approaches are presented for fast simulation of out-of-plane impact response of these materials considering four main effects: (a) strain rate dependency of the mechanical properties, (b) difference between tensile and flexural bending responses, (c) delamination, and (d) the geometry of fixture (clamping conditions). In the first approach, it is shown that by applying correction factors to the quasistatic material properties, which are often readily available from material datasheets, the role of these four sources in modeling impact response of a given composite may be accounted for. As a result a rough estimation of the dynamic force response of the composite can be attained. To show the application of the approach, a twill woven polypropylene/glass reinforced thermoplastic composite laminate has been tested under 200 J impact energy and was modeled in Abaqus/Explicit via the built-in Hashin damage criteria. X-ray microtomography was used to investigate the presence of delamination inside the impacted sample. Finally, as a second and much simpler modeling approach it is shown that applying only a single correction factor over all material properties at once can still yield a reasonable prediction. Both advantages and limitations of the simplified modeling framework are addressed in the performed case study.