At the present time, advanced composites have been widely accepted as engineering materials. Analysis techniques for the response of composite materials and structures to static loads are reasonably well established. Because of their light weight, high modulus, high strength, and good fatigue resistance, carbon fiber composites have been used successfully in the aircraft industry and rocket motor cases. However, composite materials are very susceptible to low velocity and low energy impact damage. Recently, the damage inflicted by such impact has been a subject of great interest. This paper primarily illustrates that it is possible to quantitatively assess damage due to any type of unexpected loading, including impact, using progressive failure finite element analysis.

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