Effect of Unit-Cell Size on the Barely Visible Impact Damage in Woven Composites

Hassan M. El-Dessouky, Mohamed Nasr Saleh, Ying Wang, Mohamed S. Alotaibi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)


The effect of the weaving architecture and the z-binding yarns, for 2D and 3D woven composites on the low-velocity impact resistance of carbon fibre reinforced composites, is investigated and benchmarked against noncrimp fabric (NCF). Four architectures, namely: NCF, 2D plain weave (2D-PW), 3D orthogonal: plain (ORT-PW) and twill (ORT-TW), were subjected to 15 J impact using a 16 mm-diameter, 6.7 kg hemispherical impactor. Nondestructive techniques, including ultrasonic C-scanning, Digital Image Correlation (DIC) and X-ray computed tomography (CT) were used to map and quantify the size of the induced barely visible impact damage (BVID). The energy absorption of each architecture was correlated to the damage size: both in-plane and in-depth directions. The 3D architectures, regardless of their unit-cell size, demonstrated the highest impact resistance as opposed to 2D-PW and the NCF. X-ray CT segmentation showed the effect of the higher frequency of the z-binding yarns, in the ORT-PW case, in delamination and crack arresting even when compared to the other 3D architecture (ORT-TW). Among all the architectures, ORT-PW exhibited the highest damage resistance with the least damage size. This suggests that accurate design of the z-binding yarns’ path and more importantly its frequency in 3D woven architectures is essential for impact-resistant composite structures.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2364
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • 3-dimensional reinforcement
  • Carbon fibre
  • Impact behaviour
  • Nondestructive testing
  • X-ray computed tomography


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