A new rate-dependent unidirectional composite model - Application to panels subjected to underwater blast

Xiaoding Wei, Alban De Vaucorbeil, Phuong Tran, Horacio D. Espinosa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


In this study, we developed a finite element fluid-structure interaction model to understand the deformation and failure mechanisms of both monolithic and sandwich composite panels. A new failure criterion that includes strain-rate effects was formulated and implemented to simulate different damage modes in unidirectional glass fiber/matrix composites. The laminate model uses Hashin's fiber failure criterion and a modified Tsai-Wu matrix failure criterion. The composite moduli are degraded using five damage variables, which are updated in the post-failure regime by means of a linear softening law governed by an energy release criterion. A key feature in the formulation is the distinction between fiber rupture and pull-out by introducing a modified fracture toughness, which varies from a fiber tensile toughness to a matrix tensile toughness as a function of the ratio of longitudinal normal stress to effective shear stress. The delamination between laminas is modeled by a strain-rate sensitive cohesive law. In the case of sandwich panels, core compaction is modeled by a crushable foam plasticity model with volumetric hardening and strain-rate sensitivity. These constitutive descriptions were used to predict deformation histories, fiber/matrix damage patterns, and inter-lamina delamination, for both monolithic and sandwich composite panels subjected to underwater blast. The numerical predictions were compared with experimental observations. We demonstrate that the new rate dependent composite damage model captures the spatial distribution and magnitude of damage significantly more accurately than previously developed models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1305-1318
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • Composite failure
  • Damage mechanics
  • Delamination
  • Finite element analysis
  • Fluid-structure interaction
  • Material strain rate effects
  • Underwater blast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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