Composite laminates can potentially reduce the weight of aircrafts; however, they are subjected to bird strike hazards in civil aviation. To handle their nonlinear dynamic behaviour, in this study, the impact damage of composite laminates were numerically evaluated and designed by means of smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) and the finite element method (FEM) to simulate the interaction between bird projectiles and the laminates. Attention was mainly focused on the different damage modes in various laminates’ plies induced by bird impact on a square laminated plate. A continuum damage mechanics approach was exploited to simulate damage initiation and evolution in composite laminates. Damage maps were computed with respect to different ply angles, i.e., 0°, 45° and −45°. The damage distributions were comparatively investigated, and then the ply design was considered for crashworthiness improvement. The results aim to serve as a design guideline for future prototype-scale bird strike studies of complex laminated structures.
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