In structural component applications the use of composite materials is increasing thanks to their optimal mechanical characteristics. However, the complexity of the damage evolution in composite materials significantly limits their widespread diffusion. Non-destructive tests are thus becoming ever more important. The detecting Damage Index (
) technique has been recently brought in the realm of the non-destructive characterization tests for components made of composite material. In contrast to other techniques, this methodology allows to quantitatively assess local residual properties. In this paper, the
technique is adopted in combination with the finite element method. The mechanical response of two composite plates (an 8-layer twill fabric carbon/epoxy) subjected to four-point bending test is firstly used to tune a finite element model of the laminate. Then, an undamaged laminate of the same composite material is progressively damaged through repeated four-point bending tests. Local residual elastic properties are mapped on the plate through the
technique. A continuous polynomial curve has been considered to account for the variation of the elastic modulus in the finite element model. The resulting force-displacement curve of the numerical analysis is compared to experimental data of damaged plate, resulting in very good agreement. The combination of the experimental activity and the numerical finite element analysis points out the accuracy of the
methodology in assessing local residual elastic properties of composite materials.
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