Contact behaviour of composite laminate under quasi-static indentation load
A viable solution to the ever-demanding weight-saving target in aerospace industry is the replacement of conventional engineering alloys with composite materials in primary structures. A major concern to the effective use of composite laminates is the substantial reduction in the compressive strength when the contact force has exceeded the delamination threshold load (DTL). This paper focuses on the study of the contact behavior of composite laminates under quasi-static indentation (QSI) forces. The effect of damage initiation and growth on contact behavior has been investigated via detailed assessment of the relation between the indentation force and the dent depth. Different phases corresponding to undamaged, local damage, global damage, and final failure of the laminate have been identified. A modification to the classical Hertz contact law has been proposed to account for the matrix material resistance to plastic deformation.