Delamination threshold load of composite laminate under low-velocity impact
A key factor affecting the use of carbon fibre reinforced composite laminates is the low velocity impact damage which may be introduced accidentally during manufacture, operation or maintenance of the component. Among the several barely visible impact damages, interlaminar delamination is the dominant failure mode and may reduce the post-impact compressive strength of the component significantly. This paper focuses on the study of the delamination threshold load (DTL) above which significant increase of delamination and thus large reduction of the residual compressive strength of the component may occur. Instrumented drop weight tests were carried out under various impact energy levels to determine the delamination threshold load. Efforts are directed to the study of the laminate thickness effect on the reliability of the detection of the DTL. The validity of the concept of DTL has been investigated and possible implications on the measurement of the DTL has been discussed. It is demonstrated that DTL exists but its detection requires proper testing conditions.