Damage Tolerance Assessment of Laminated Composite Plates Subjected to Ballistic Impact

  • H. L. VinayakaEmail author
  • Shivashankar R. Srivatsa
Conference paper


Polymer matrix composite materials in laminated plate configurations are extensively used in a wide range of fields like defense, navy, aerospace, and automotive industries due to their low weight, high-specific strength, and tailorability. However, in these applications, impact damage tolerance of laminated composite structures is a constant source of concern over the years. Ballistic impact damage tolerance assessment is a concern in many fields, besides obvious application of protective armor where the primary design objective is that of preventing projectile penetration. Soft body armors made of composites are subjected to ballistic impact from projectiles where the structure has no time to respond and could result in localized damage. Analysis of composite structures under ballistic impact, which is a transient nonlinear dynamic phenomenon, requires nonlinear finite element analysis (NLFEA). LS-DYNA, a general purpose code based on finite element method with a wide range of material models, which uses explicit time integration technique for analyzing large deformation dynamic response of solids and structures, has proven to be relevant in this respect. This paper focuses on finite element modeling of impact on composite plates subjected to ballistic impact by a fragment simulating projectile (FSP) using LS-DYNA software. Finite element modeling is defined here as analyst’s choice of material models (constitutive equations and failure criteria), nonlinear finite elements, meshes, constraints, boundary conditions, analysis procedures, governing matrix equations, and their solution methods, specific pre- and post-processing options available in a chosen commercial FEA software for the intended analysis of candidate components and structures. The focus of this work is on the use of LS-DYNA software and prediction by analysis of: (1) Impact damage resistance (contact force-time history); (2) Impact response (displacement-time history, ply-by-ply strain history, ply-by-ply stresses in the material coordinates, and contour plots of failure index); (3) Impact damage propagation (ply-by-ply failure from first ply failure to last ply failure and delamination between plies); and (4) Impact damage tolerance (stiffness, strength, life without and with damage). Significant results like energy balance, contact force-time history, displacement-time plots, and damage zone shape and size are presented. Also, a study of the failure modes and effect of failure theories on ballistic impact response of a composite structure is presented.


FEM Nonlinear finite element analysis Composite structure Ballistic impact 


  1. 1.
    Y. Shi, T. Swait, C. Soutis, Modelling damage evolution in composite laminates subjected to low velocity impact. Compos. Struct. 94, 2902–2913 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    D. Feng, F. Aymerich, Finite element modelling of damage induced by low-velocity impact on composite laminates. Compos. Struct. 108, 161–171 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    M.A. Iqbal, A. Chakrabarti, S. Beniwal, N.K. Gupta, 3D numerical simulations of sharp nosed projectile impact on ductile targets. Int. J. Impact Eng 37, 185–195 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    L. J. Deka, S. D. Bartus, U. K. Vaidya, Damage evolution and energy absorption of FRP plates subjected to ballistic impact using a numerical model, in 9th International LS-DYNA Users Conference, 2006, Dearborn, Michigan, USAGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    J. Pernas-Sánchez, J.A. Artero-Guerrero, J. Zahr Viñuela, D. Varas, J. López-Puente, Numerical analysis of high velocity impacts on unidirectional laminates. Compos. Struct. 107, 629–634 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    N.K. Naik, P. Shrirao, Composite structures under ballistic impact. Compos. Struct. 66, 579–590 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    M. Loikkanen, G. Praveen, D. Powell, Simulation of ballistic impact on composite panels, in 10th International LS-DYNA Users Conference, 2008, Dearborn, Michigan, USAGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Sebastian Heimbs, Sven Heller, Peter Middendorf, Simulation of low velocity impact on composite plates with compressive preload (LS-DYNA Anwender Forum, Bamberg, 2008)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    S.K. Chelluru, Finite element simulations of ballistic impact on metal and composite plates, M.Sc. thesis, Wichita State University, 2007Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Costantino Menna, Domenico Asprone, Giancarlo Caprino, Valentina Lopresto, Andrea Prota, Numerical simulation of impact tests on GFRP composite laminates. Int. J. Impact Eng 38, 677–685 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    LS-DYNA Theory Manual, Livermore Software Technology Corporation (Livermore, CA, 2006)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    LS-DYNA Keywords Manual, Volume I, Version 971 Livermore Software Technology Corporation, Livermore, CA, May 2007 Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringDayananda Sagar College of EngineeringBengaluruIndia
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringBMS College of EngineeringBengaluruIndia

Personalised recommendations