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An Enriched Shell Element for Delamination Simulation in Composite Laminates



A formulation is presented for an enriched shell finite element capable of delamination simulation in composite laminates. The element uses an adaptive splitting approach for damage characterization that allows for straightforward low-fidelity model creation and a numerically efficient solution. The Floating Node Method is used in conjunction with the Virtual Crack Closure Technique to predict delamination growth and represent it discretely at an arbitrary ply interface. The enriched element is verified for Mode I delamination simulation using numerical benchmark data. After determining important mesh configuration guidelines for the vicinity of the delamination front in the model, a good correlation was found between the enriched shell element model results and the benchmark data set.

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