Composite Structures Laboratory


Textile Composites
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Blast Response

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University of Michigan
Aerospace Engineering
Lab CTools

The Development of a Shock Tube Facility for Studying the Blast Response of Textile Composite Laminates
PI: Anthony M. Waas
Particpant: Brian Cohen, Mark Pankow

3D Composites

This project will examine the effects of shockwave loads on composite materials. Although previous work has investigated the effects of a normal shockwave uniformly loading a target plate, little has been done to examine the effects of shockwave deformation during impact with that target. Specifically the time and spatially-dependent effects of a deforming target on a reflecting shockwave will be computationally modeled and tested via photographic methods.

As a shockwave collides with the composite material, deformation will cause the shockwave boundary to alter from having a plane to a curved shape. This in turn will affect the time and spatial-dependent pressure loading on the target. Initially, a CFD and FE code will be integrated to model these effects on isotropic materials such as aluminum or steel plates. Once the code is validated through experimentation using multiple high frame-rate cameras, a more comprehensive analysis will be performed on a composite structure.

Composite materials are inherently more difficult to model given their nonlinear deformation characteristics and anisotropic 3D configurations. Developing this model will be a major obstacle to overcome in this project, especially given a pressure loading that is time and spatially-dependent.

Although research has been done separately to 1) model a shockwave that deforms through an altering boundary condition and to 2) model 3D composite materials in FE software, little has been done to integrate these effects. The ultimate purpose is to yield more accurate predictions on deformation and fracture of blast-loaded composite structures.


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