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An Efficient Virtual Testing Framework to Simulate the Interacting Effect of Intra-laminar and Inter-laminar Damage Progression in Composite Laminates



A reliable prediction of the complex inelastic behaviour of laminated composite materials requires that the computational model be able to capture the interactive effect of several failure/damage mechanisms including matrix cracking, fibre breakage, splitting and delamination. Depending on the layup and loading geometry, the accurate prediction of the onset and propagation of certain discrete damage modes (e.g. splitting and delamination), is critical in predicting the progressive damage response of the laminate up to its ultimate failure. In capturing such details, it is important to maintain the efficiency of the computational models so that they can be readily used by engineers to conduct failure analysis of composite sub-components and components. In this study, an efficient combination of the continuum and discrete approaches will be used to capture the interacting effect of discrete and smeared cracks. In contrast to some of the previous studies that employ a fully discrete approach, in the current framework, delamination is captured by a discrete approach while all intralaminar forms of damage, including splitting are modelled using the nonlocal continuum damage approach. Through judicious placement of the discrete delamination interface and synchronizing the onsets of delamination and splitting, the computational effort is markedly reduced.

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