Development of an Orthotropic Elasto-Plastic Generalized Composite Material Model Suitable for Impact Problems

Robert K. Goldberg, Kelly S. Carney, Paul Dubois, Canio Hoffarth, Joseph Harrington, Subramaniam Rajan, Gunther Blankenhorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The need for accurate material models to simulate the deformation, damage, and failure of polymer matrix composites under impact conditions is becoming critical as these materials are gaining increased usage in the aerospace and automotive industries. There are a variety of material models currently available within commercial transient dynamic finite-element codes to analyze the response of composite materials under impact conditions. However, there are several features that are lacking in the currently available models that could improve the predictive capability of the impact simulations. To address these needs, a combined elasto-plastic model with damage suitable for implementation within transient dynamic finite-element codes has been developed. A key feature of the improved material model is the use of tabulated stress-strain data in a variety of coordinate directions to fully define the stress-strain response of the material. Currently, the model development efforts have focused on creating the plasticity portion of the model. A commonly used composite failure model has been generalized and extended to a strain-hardening-based orthotropic yield function with a non-associative flow rule. The coefficients of the yield function are computed based on the input stress-strain curves using the effective plastic strain as the tracking variable. The coefficients of the flow rule are determined in a systematic manner based on the available stress-strain data for the material. The evolution of the yield surface is examined, in detail, for a sample composite. A numerical algorithm based on the classic radial return method is employed to compute the evolution of the effective plastic strain. A specific laminated composite is examined to demonstrate the process of characterizing and analyzing the response of a composite using the developed model. The developed material model is suitable for use within commercial transient dynamic finite-element codes for use in analyzing the nonlinear response of polymer composites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04015083
JournalJournal of Aerospace Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Ballistic impact
  • Finite element method
  • Plasticity
  • Polymer matrix composites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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