Progressive damage analysis of composite structures remains problematic, holding back the full potential of these materials. Widely used continuum damage models feature a heuristical stiffness reduction to reflect damage, resulting in an unrealistic representation of damage patterns. To the end of a more realistic failure representation, this paper proposes a blended methodology for progressive damage analysis of such structures implemented in ABAQUS, combining continuum damage models with a more physically based approach from a fracture mechanics perspective. Matrix cracks are modelled through the eXtended Finite Element Method and delaminations through a cohesive zone model. Validation of the blend on an experimental campaign of open-hole tensile tests shows remarkable predictive capability, in good conformance to experimental failure loads, digital image correlation and acoustic emission measurements - particularly yielding more realistic damage patterns than state-of-the-art continuum damage model implementations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)512-522
Number of pages11
JournalComposite Structures
StatePublished - 15 Jan 2018

    Research areas

  • Cohesive zone modeling, Composites, Damage mechanics, Finite element analysis, XFEM

ID: 30882311