Title: Finite element modelling of the low velocity impact response of composite plates with block copolymer nano-reinforcements

Authors: Karthik Ram Ramakrishnan; Sébastien Denneulin; Sandra Guérard; Krishna Shankar; Philippe Viot

Addresses: School of Engineering and Information Technology, University of New South Wales, Canberra 2600, Australia ' Herakles - Safran group, Rue de Touban - Les Cinq Chemins. 33185 le Haillan, France ' Institut de Mécanique et d’Ingénierie de Bordeaux I2M - CNRS UMR, 5295 Arts et Métiers Paristech, F - 33405 Talence Cedex - France ' School of Engineering and Information Technology, University of New South Wales, Canberra 2600, Australia ' Institut de Mécanique et d’Ingénierie de Bordeaux I2M - CNRS UMR, 5295 Arts et Métiers Paristech, F - 33405 Talence Cedex - France

Abstract: The use of composite materials in passive safety structures has increased significantly due to their low specific mass and high energy absorption capacities. The purpose of this study is to develop and validate a macroscopic numerical model to simulate the impact response of composite laminates with nano-reinforcements. The impact resistance of laminate with Kevlar fibre reinforced epoxy resin embedded with Nanostrength®, an acrylate triblock copolymer that self-assembles in the nanometer scale is investigated. Low velocity impact experiments were performed on square plates clamped by means of a circular fixture using an instrumented drop tower. Images of the composite laminate during impact were recorded by a high-speed video camera fixed underneath the plate. An approach for modelling these composites in the commercial finite element code LS-Dyna using constitutive model based on the theory of continuum damage mechanics developed by Matzenmiller, Lubliner and Taylor - called MLT model - is presented. LAMINATED COMPOSITE FABRIC material model, available in the LS-Dyna material model library as (MAT58), was chosen for modelling the low velocity impact of the Kevlar composite plate. The model requires input of material properties in shear, tension, and compression to define stress-strain behaviour within the laminate. The parameters needed for the model are determined using a combination of experimental tests and parametric analysis. The macroscopic response of the Kevlar composite with and without nanoparticles in the resin subjected to impact loading are simulated in LS-Dyna with the phenomenological material model, and is validated by comparison with experiments. It was found that the Kevlar epoxy composite material with Nanostrength M52N had better resistance to perforation compared to the lamiante with neat resin.

Keywords: composite laminates; finite element analysis; FEA; impact behaviour; Kevlar fibres; nanostructures; nanotechnology; modelling; low velocity impact response; composite plates; block copolymer nano-reinforcements; composites; passive safety structures; simulation; shear; tension; compression; stress-strain behaviour.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAUTOC.2016.078098

International Journal of Automotive Composites, 2016 Vol.2 No.1, pp.3 - 22

Received: 28 Feb 2015
Accepted: 20 Oct 2015

Published online: 01 Aug 2016 *

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