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Impact simulation of composite components is an active field of research and development. While many FEM codes provide tools for such simulations, the main challenge remains in defining the model and material parameters appropriately such as to arrive at an objective and reliable prediction of the structural response to the impact event. In engineering practice, parameters like mesh refinement and material formulations are often adapted in order to obtain desired simulation results. Although this common procedure is able to reproduce experimental results that have previously been tested, it is hardly appropriate to predict beforehand how a structure will actually behave under given impact conditions and is therefore of limited use during the design process.
In this presentation, the current status of reliable impact simulation is discussed by example of a composite fan containment case subjected to a blade out event. The objective is to develop sound modeling techniques for structural analysis that are based on parameters determined by experimental testing on the material level without the need for subsequent ‘tweaking’ of the model. Also, they need to be simple enough for efficient evaluation of larger structures, yet refined enough to capture all mechanisms relevant to structural failure.