Three-dimensional numerical modeling of composite panels subjected to underwater blast

Xiaoding Wei, Phuong Tran, Alban de Vaucorbeil, Ravi Bellur Ramaswamy, Felix Latourte, Horacio D. Espinosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Designing lightweight high-performance materials that can sustain high impulsive loadings is of great interest for marine applications. In this study, a finite element fluid-structure interaction model was developed to understand the deformation and failure mechanisms of both monolithic and sandwich composite panels. Fiber (E-glass fiber) and matrix (vinylester resin) damage and degradation in individual unidirectional composite laminas were modeled using Hashin failure model. The delamination between laminas was modeled by a strain-rate sensitive cohesive law. In sandwich panels, core compaction (H250 PVC foam) is modeled by a crushable foam plasticity model with volumetric hardening and strain-rate sensitivity. The model-predicted deformation histories, fiber/matrix damage patterns, and inter-lamina delamination, in both monolithic and sandwich composite panels, were compared with experimental observations. The simulations demonstrated that the delamination process is strongly rate dependent, and that Hashin model captures the spatial distribution and magnitude of damage to a first-order approximation. The model also revealed that the foam plays an important role in improving panel performance by mitigating the transmitted impulse to the back-side face sheet while maintaining overall bending stiffness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1319-1336
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Composite failure
  • Delamination
  • Finite element analysis
  • Fluid-structure interaction
  • Foam compaction
  • Underwater blast

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