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Prediction of Load-Bearing Capacity of Composite Cylinders with Impact Damage

Impact damage induced by hailstone impact, tool, or equipment dropping can lead to severe reductions in composite structures’ load-carrying capacity. Aerospace companies and manufacturers of other products, in which composite materials are extensively used, spend considerable resources to determine the level of degradation of composite parts’ load-bearing capacity that have received impact damage during operation or during assembly, as well as the permissible degree of damage at which the replacement of an expensive structural member is unnecessary. Usually, such assessments are based on the integrated application of experimental destructive and non-destructive methods, which, in turn, also requires considerable financial and time investments. Understandably, the availability of a verified simulation approach capable of predicting the residual load-carrying capacity of composite parts with impact damage would provide significant costs savings and accelerate the decision making when such assessments are required. This preliminary study represents the first steps aimed at developing such a simulation approach using LS-DYNA software and is focused on the load-bearing capacity of damaged composite structural members designed to work primarily under the action of compressive loads.