Prediction of damage due to impact for composites on the basis of possible impact threats

Viswanath Dhanisetty, Philippe Massart, Fardin Esrail, Wim Verhagen, Christos Kassapoglou, Richard Curran

Research output: Working paper/PreprintWorking paperScientific

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes an analytical model capable of relating damage found on a composite plate to a given impactor characteristic (size and energy). The model addresses a gap in knowledge regarding the types of damages to be expected over the lifetime of a new generation of composite aircraft. The damage type and dimensions are estimated using a superposition of local indentation and global plate deflection. The analytical approach, validated by drop-weight experiments, uniquely uses the impact characteristics predicted from metal aircraft damages as inputs to model the impact event response for composite plates under the same impact event conditions. The case study demonstrates that impact data from metal aircraft can be used to anticipate damage for a composite aircraft. The results from the model indicate that of the impactors that previously damaged metal aircraft, 75% will cause surface dent damage, fibre breakage, or penetration. As an extension of the analytical model application, a risk assessment is conducted on the predicted impactors, incorporating maintenance cost as the primary indicator for event consequences. This assessment shows the risks the similar events pose on metal vs. a comparable composite structure and allows aircraft operators to anticipate and plan maintenance actions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019

Publication series

NameInternational Journal of Impact Engineering
ISSN (Print)0734-743X


  • structural impact
  • composite fuselage
  • damage modelling
  • aircraft maintenance
  • impact risk
  • Structural impact
  • Aircraft maintenance
  • Damage modelling
  • Composite fuselage
  • Impact risk


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