Impact damage tolerance of thermoset composites reinforced with hybrid commingled yarns

Erdem Selver, Prasad Potluri, Paul Hogg, Costas Soutis

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This paper examines the potential of low-cost thermoplastic fibres in improving the impact damage resistance and damage tolerance of thermoset (glass-epoxy) composites. Polypropylene (PP) fibres, commodity fibres without any surface modifications, have been incorporated at tow-scale with the aid of air jet commingling process. Glass-PP hybrid yarns with varying proportion of PP fibres (0–35%) are converted into several non-crimp cross-ply laminates and a plain-woven laminate. Damage resistance in terms of damage area and depth are assessed for low energy (20–50 J) as well as high energy (500 J) drop-weight impacts; damage tolerance is assessed through Compression after Impact (CAI) tests. Overall density of the composite laminate has reduced by 16% due to the introduction of PP fibres; at the same time total absorbed energy has increased by 22% during a high velocity impact test due to a toughing mechanism by PP fibres. Non-crimp laminates absorbed more energy at low velocity impacts in comparison to woven laminates, possibly due to extensive tow-level delaminations. On the other hand, a much larger dent depth was observed in the woven laminate after low energy impact. Compression after Impact (CAI) tests indicated that woven laminates retained 83% of compressive strength while non-crimp laminates retained 50–60%, depending on proportion of thermoplastic fibres, and standard glass fibre laminates retain around 45%. Fibre damage has been significantly reduced during impact loading in case of hybrid laminates due to the cushioning effect offered by lower modulus PP fibres.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-538
JournalComposites Part B: Engineering
Early online date27 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2016


  • A. Hybrid
  • A. Fabrics/textiles
  • B. Impact behaviour
  • B. Damage tolerance
  • A. Commingled yarn

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