Imperial College London

ProfessorPaulCurtis

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Aeronautics

Senior Research Investigator
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 7594 5040p.curtis

 
 
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Location

 

E259Roderic Hill BuildingSouth Kensington Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
to

74 results found

Zhou J, Pellegrino A, Heisserer U, Duke PW, Curtis PT, Morton J, Petrinic N, Tagarielli VLet al., 2019, A new technique for tensile testing of engineering materials and composites at high strain rates, PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY A-MATHEMATICAL PHYSICAL AND ENGINEERING SCIENCES, Vol: 475, ISSN: 1364-5021

Journal article

Del Rosso S, Iannucci L, Curtis P, 2019, Finite element simulation of the braiding process, Mechanics of Advanced Materials and Modern Processes, Vol: 5

Braiding is one of the most common technique employed for the manufacture of fabrics and ropes. It is also commonly used to produce near-net shaped preforms for advanced fibre reinforced composites. This paper presents an explicit finite element approach to create and simulate the braiding process for the virtual manufacture of 2D braids. The process starts from the definition of an analytical function which describes the movement of the carriers on a braiding track plate. Models of idealised Maypole-type braiding machines are built and used to shape virtual yarns into braids. This procedure can be used in a parameter control fashion, to optimise or to create virtual braided structures, which can serve as input for other structural analyses. It is emphasised that multiple cylinders are required for the modelling of a multifilament yarn to achieve better correlation with the experimental results. A parametric study is presented to investigate the effect of the number of virtual cylinders to represent a real yarn and the shape of the final braid. Excellent correlation was found between the virtual models and the experimental results when comparing the braid angle and yarn width.

Journal article

Iannucci L, Del Rosso S, Curtis P, Pope D, Duke Pet al., 2018, Understanding the thickness effect on the tensile strength property of Dyneema®HB26 laminates, Materials, Vol: 11, Pages: 1-18, ISSN: 1996-1944

In this study, an experimental and numerical investigation is presented on the effect of thickness and test rate within the pseudo static regime on the tensile properties of Dyneema®HB26 laminates. A detailed experimental presentation on the tensile testing of different thickness is presented and highlights the commonly seen observation that the tensile strength of a laminate reduces as a function of the specimen thickness. To understand these experimental observations, a constitutive material model of the individual macro fibril is developed and applied to modelling the fibre and upscaling to the laminate. The modelling strategy is implemented into ls-dyna and used to perform a parameter study on the specimen geometries used in the experimental study. The model assumes that the fibril strength is a function of the amorphous volume within the fibre and hence fibril. It can be observed that the experimental behaviour can be simulated by modelling the interface between laminate plies and the fibril, and hence fibre failure. The weak interfaces from the fibril to the laminate scale make the testing of fibres and laminates very difficult. Hence, it is proposed that the intrinsic fibril strength should be used as a measure of strength, and the fundamental strength is determined through numerical studies.

Journal article

Zhou J, Tagarielli V, Heisserer U, Curtis Pet al., 2018, An apparatus for tensile testing of engineering materials, Experimental Mechanics, Vol: 58, Pages: 941-950, ISSN: 0014-4851

We develop a novel apparatus and an associatedtest protocol to measure the tensile response of materials. The apparatus allows testing of ring-shaped specimens,fibre yarns and tapes of arbitrary length; it can be employed to conduct experiments at different strain rates and in different environmental conditions.The technique is tested at low rates of strain on several materials, including carbon fibres, metals, polymers and ceramics; the tensile responses measured with the new apparatus are compared to those obtained from conventional measurements and found to be in good agreement with these.

Journal article

Cwik T, Iannucci L, Curtis P, Pope Det al., 2017, Design and ballistic performance of hybrid composite laminates, Applied Composite Materials, Vol: 24, Pages: 717-733, ISSN: 0929-189X

This paper presents an initial design assessment of a series of novel, cost-effective, and hybrid composite materials for applications involving high velocity impacts. The proposed hybrid panels were designed in order to investigate various physical phenomenon occurring during high velocity impact on compliant laminates from a previous study on Dyneema® and Spectra®. In the first, screening phase of the study twenty different hybrid composite laminates were impacted with 20 mm Fragment Simulating Projectiles at 1 km/s striking velocity. The best performing concepts were put forward to phase II with other hybrid concepts involving shear thickening fluids, commonly used in low velocity impacts. The results indicated that it is possible to design hybrid laminates of similar ballistic performance as the reference Dyneema® laminate, but with lower material costs. The optimal hybrid concept involves a fibre reinforced Polypropylene front and a Dyneema® backing.

Journal article

Raza I, Iannucci L, Curtis PT, 2017, Introducing a Multimaterial Printer for the Deposition of Low MeltingPoint Alloys, Elastomer, and Ultraviolet Curable Resin, 3D PRINTING AND ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, Vol: 4, Pages: 83-89, ISSN: 2329-7662

Journal article

Hazzard MK, Hallett SR, Curtis PT, Iannucci L, Trask RSet al., 2017, Effect of fibre orientation on the low velocity impact response of thin Dyneema (R) composite laminates, International Journal of Impact Engineering, Vol: 100, Pages: 35-45, ISSN: 0734-743X

Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fibre reinforced composite materials are widely used in ballistic impact and collision scenarios due to their extremely high specific strength and stiffness. Exceptional levels of protection are provided by controlling the damage and deformation mechanisms over several length scales. In this study, the role of UHMWPE fibre architecture (cross-ply, quasi-isotropic and rotational “helicoidal” layups) is considered on the damage and deformation mechanisms arising from low velocity impacts with 150 J impact energy and clamped boundary conditions. Dyneema® panels approximately 2.2 mm thick were impacted with a fully instrumented hemi-spherical impactor at velocities of 3.38 m/s. Full field deformation of the panels was captured through digital image correlation (DIC). The results indicate that the cross-ply laminate [0°/90°] had the largest back face deflection, whilst quasi-isotropic architectures restricted and reduced the central deflection by an average of 43%. In the case of the [0°/90°] panel, the deformation mechanisms were dominated by large amounts of in-plane shear with limited load transfer from primary fibres. Conversely, the failure of the quasi-isotropic panels were dominated by large amounts of panel buckling over various length scales. The observed mechanisms of deformation with increasing length scale were; through thickness fibre compression, fibre micro-buckling, fibre re-orientation with large matrix deformation, lamina kink band formation, and laminate buckling. The helicoidal panels showed that bend-twist and extension-twist coupling were important factors in controlling clamped boundary conditions and the laminate buckling/wrinkling shape. Further examination of the impact zone indicated that the damage mechanisms appear to be fibre orientation dependent, with quasi-isotropic laminates having up to 37.5% smaller impact damage zones compared with [0°/90°]. The

Journal article

Ćwik TK, Iannucci L, Curtis P, Pope Det al., 2016, Investigation of the ballistic performance of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene composite panels, Composite Structures, Vol: 149, Pages: 197-212, ISSN: 0263-8223

The ballistic performance of Dyneema® HB26 and Spectra® 3124 subjected to high velocity impact of steel and copper Fragment Simulating Projectiles was evaluated. A 3D High Speed Digital Image Correlation was used for measurement of the panels front face deformation and the back face deformation. The information obtained from the measurements, along with the post-mortem observation of the panels, allowed to draw conclusions with respect to the importance of various energy dissipation mechanisms that occurred in the tested materials. It was observed that, although Dyneema® HB26 and Spectra® 3124 deform very differently during the impact event, they had a similar ballistic performance.

Journal article

Wang L, Tomlin A, Pandita SD, Gupta BD, Malik SA, Hudson M, Curtis PT, Fernando GFet al., 2016, In-situ monitoring of cross-linking reactions using E-glass fibres and evanescent wave spectroscopy, SENSORS AND ACTUATORS B-CHEMICAL, Vol: 236, Pages: 358-366, ISSN: 0925-4005

Journal article

Malik SA, Wang L, Curtis PT, Fernando GFet al., 2016, Self-sensing composites: in-situ detection of fibre fracture, Sensors, Vol: 16, ISSN: 1424-8239

The primary load-bearing component in a composite material is the reinforcing fibres. This paper reports on a technique to study the fracture of individual reinforcing fibres or filaments in real-time. Custom-made small-diameter optical fibres with a diameter of 12 (±2) micrometres were used to detect the fracture of individual filaments during tensile loading of unreinforced bundles and composites. The unimpregnated bundles were end-tabbed and tensile tested to failure. A simple technique based on resin-infusion was developed to manufacture composites with a negligible void content. In both cases, optical fibre connectors were attached to the ends of the small-diameter optical fibre bundles to enable light to be coupled into the bundle via one end whilst the opposite end was photographed using a high-speed camera. The feasibility of detecting the fracture of each of the filaments in the bundle and composite was demonstrated. The in-situ damage detection technique was also applied to E-glass bundles and composites; this will be reported in a subsequent publication.

Journal article

Del Rosso S, Iannucci L, Curtis P, 2016, On the ballistic impact response of microbraid reinforced polymer composites, Composite Structures, Vol: 137, Pages: 70-84, ISSN: 0263-8223

This paper presents the behaviour of microbraid reinforced polymer composites (mBRPC) subjected to impact loading conditions. Ballistic impact tests were performed by firing 7.94 mm steel balls onto composites reinforced with microbraids having different architectures, braid angles and of different materials (Kevlar® and Dyneema®). Two high speed cameras were employed to record the impact events. Experimental results revealed an improvement in the ballistic limit, of up to 19.5% for certain types of mBPRC, with respect to composites made with unidirectional fibres. Visual inspection of the impacted laminates revealed similar deformation mechanisms for composites reinforced with microbraids having different architectures and of different material. The slippage of the impactor through the layers of the laminates could have had detrimentally affected the ballistic properties of the manufactured composites. Modifications in the arrangement of the reinforcing phase are needed to fully exploit the potential of the microbraids in polymeric structures.

Journal article

Raza IM, Iannucci L, Curtis PT, 2016, Additive manufacturing of locally resonant composite metamaterials

This article introduces a custom built multi-material 3D printer that is capable of depositing three different materials during one print. The printer utilises both continuous and droplet direct-write methods to deposit a UV cure plastic adhesive, latex rubber, and SAC solder metal in one single object. The printer is fully controlled via LabVIEW, allowing all aspects of the printing process to be adjusted. The purpose for this printer is to facilitate the manufacture of composite acoustic and elastic metamaterials.

Conference paper

Del Rosso S, Iannucci L, Curtis PT, Robinson Pet al., 2016, Hybrid UHMwPE/carbon microbraids for ductile composites

This paper presents a comprehensive series of mechanical tests performed on core-filled hybrid microbraids and composites manufactured using those microbraids as the reinforcing phase. Tensile tests performed on dry microbraids revealed the dependence of the mechanical properties on the bias angle of the fibres. During tensile loading conditions, the unidirectional core failed first, the bias yarns contained the failed core and shared the load until final failure occurred. The observed saw-tooth stress vs. strain curved can be attributed to multiple fractures of the inner core. The trends witnessed during testing the dry microbraids were very similar to those seen during tensile testing the composites.

Conference paper

Micallef K, Fallah AS, Curtis PT, Louca LAet al., 2015, On the dynamic plastic response of steel membranes subjected to localised blast loading, International Journal of Impact Engineering, Vol: 89, Pages: 25-37, ISSN: 1879-3509

Permanent plastic deformation is expected when close-in blasts due to e.g. detonation of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED's) hit thin metallic targets. A circular thin steel plate i.e. a membrane is studied in the present work subject to a general form of a localised blast loading. The spatial shape of the pulse is fixed and different temporal shapes are investigated. Dynamic analyses are conducted and the permanent transverse displacements are found for each case.For high amplitude pulse loads of short duration, it was found that the permanent transverse displacement can be found by replacing the load by an impulse without the loss of accuracy. Excellent correlation with numerical simulations obtained from ABAQUS/Explicit is achieved. The predicted final displacements for different pulse shapes are also found to be similar, thus where membrane action is dominant, the response is insensitive to pulse shape.

Journal article

Iannucci L, cwik T, curtis P, pope Det al., 2015, Investigation of the ballistic performance of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene composite panels, Composite Structures, ISSN: 1879-1085

Journal article

Pullen AD, Louca LA, Micallef K, Fallah AS, Curtis PTet al., 2015, Characterization of the Mechanical Behavior of a Polymer-Based Laminate and Constituent Fibers at Various Quasi-Static Strain Rates, JOURNAL OF AEROSPACE ENGINEERING, Vol: 28, ISSN: 0893-1321

Journal article

Del Rosso S, Iannucci L, Curtis PT, 2015, Experimental investigation of the mechanical properties of dry microbraids and microbraid reinforced polymer composites, Composite Structures, Vol: 125, Pages: 509-519, ISSN: 1879-1085

This paper presents a comprehensive series of mechanical tests performed on two high performance polymeric fibres, microbraids and microbraid reinforced polymer composites (mBRPC). Quasi-static tests were performed on the raw materials and the effect of different gauge lengths and strain rates investigated. Then, microbraids having sub-millimetre diameters were manufactured from the raw yarns using a Maypole-type braiding machine. The effects of different braid architectures, number of braided yarns and bias angles were assessed through a series of tensile tests on dry microbraids. A novel and unique manufacturing method of aligning microbraids in a unidirectional fashion via robotised filament winding was developed to manufacture microbraid reinforced polymer composites (mBRPC). Quasi-static tensile tests performed on mBRPC showed improved mechanical properties, for certain architectures, with respect to those noted for unidirectional composites manufactured using same technique.

Journal article

Tsampas SA, Greenhalgh ES, Ankersen J, Curtis PTet al., 2015, Compressive failure of hybrid multidirectional fibre-reinforced composites, Composites Part A - Applied Science and Manufacturing, Vol: 71, Pages: 40-58, ISSN: 1359-835X

In this paper, the hybridisation of multidirectional carbon fibre-reinforced composites as a means of improving the compressive performance is studied. The aim is to thoroughly investigate how hybridisation influences the laminate behaviour under different compression conditions and thus provide an explanation of the “hybrid effect”. The chosen approach was to compare the compressive performance of two monolithic carbon fibre/epoxy systems, CYTEC HTS/MTM44-1 and IMS/MTM44-1, with that of their respective hybrids. This was done by keeping the same layup throughout ((0/90/45/−45)2S) while replacing the angle plies in one case or the orthogonal plies in the other case with the second material, thus producing two hybrid systems. To investigate the compressive performance of these configurations, compact and plain compression test methods were employed which also allowed studying the sensitivity of compressive failure to specimen geometry and loading conditions. The experimental results and the subsequent fractographic analysis revealed that the hybridisation of selective ply interfaces influenced the location and severity of the failure mechanisms. Finally, in light of this knowledge, an update of the generic sequence of events, previously suggested by the authors, which lead to global fracture in multidirectional fibre-reinforced composites under compression is presented.

Journal article

Fallah AS, Micallef K, Langdon GS, Lee WC, Curtis PT, Louca LAet al., 2014, Dynamic response of Dyneema® HB26 plates to localised blast loading, International Journal of Impact Engineering, Vol: 73, Pages: 91-100, ISSN: 0734-743X

This paper reports on the dynamic response of a potential blast-resistant lightweight alternative to steel for military applications, namely ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMwPE) fibre composites known as Dyneema®. The results of localised air-blast loading tests on Dyneema HB26 panels are reported and analysed. Various failure modes were observed, including permanent deformation, delamination, in-plane shear, buckling around the boundary, localised melting and matrix damage. Total penetration (rupture) at the highest charge masses was also exhibited by the Dyneema panels. The experimental results are compared to the numerically simulated responses of mild steel and armour steel plates of equal areal density and reasonable correlation was observed in most cases. Dimensional analysis was used to compare the responses and showed that there is a possibility of unifying all the results i.e. the responses for all materials once a newly proposed slenderness ratio was incorporated into the formulation. Simple dimensionless expressions are proposed to predict permanent midpoint transverse displacements, irrespective of the particular material type. It was also observed that armour steel and Dyneema HB26 offer potential displacement reductions of almost 50% and 30%, respectively for the range of impulses tested.

Journal article

Ghajari M, Iannucci L, Curtis P, 2014, A peridynamic material model for the analysis of dynamic crack propagation in orthotropic media, Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, Vol: 276, Pages: 431-452, ISSN: 0045-7825

A new material model for the dynamic fracture analysis of anisotropic materials has been proposed within the framework of the bond-based peridynamic theory. This model enables predicting complex fracture phenomena such as spontaneous crack nucleation and crack branching, curving and arrest, a capability inherited from the bond-based peridynamic theory. An important feature of the model is that the bond properties, i.e. the stiffness constant and critical stretch, are continuous functions of bond orientation in the principal material axes. This facilitates fracture analysis of anisotropic materials with random orientations, such as polycrystalline microstructures. Elastic and fracture behaviour of the model has been verified through simulating uniaxial tension of a composite plate and fracture of a cortical bone compact tension specimen, and making quantitative comparisons to analytical and experimental data. To further demonstrate the capabilities of the proposed model, dynamic fracture of a polycrystalline microstructure (alumina ceramic) has been simulated. The influence of the grain boundary and grain interior fracture energies on the interacting and competing fracture modes of polycrystalline materials, i.e. intergranular and transgranular fracture, has been studied.

Journal article

Micallef K, Fallah AS, Curtis PT, Louca LAet al., 2013, A homogenised continuum constitutive model for visco-plastic deformation of uni-directional composites, Composite Structures, ISSN: 0263-8223

Journal article

Shirshova N, Qian H, Shaffer MSP, Steinke JHG, Greenhalgh ES, Curtis PT, Kucernak A, Bismarck Aet al., 2013, Structural composite supercapacitors, Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, Vol: 46, Pages: 96-107, ISSN: 1359-835X

This paper presents the development of multifunctional materials that perform a structural role whilst simultaneously storing electrical energy as a supercapacitor. Two structural carbon fibre woven electrodeswere separated by a woven glass fibre layer, and infused with a multifunctional polymer electrolyte. Following characterisation of electrochemical and compressive performance, working structural supercapacitor prototypes were demonstrated. Since the relative mechanical and electrical demands are application specific, an optimisation methodology is proposed. Multifunctional composites were achieved, which had compressive moduli of up to 39 GPa and capacitances of up to 52 mF g 1.

Journal article

Ćwik TK, Iannucci L, Robinson P, Curtis PT, Pope DJet al., 2012, Investigation of factors influencing dynamic response of a tensile split Hopkinson pressure bar

The paper presents results of a parametric study made on a tensile split Hopkinson pressure bar. The aim of the study was to identify factors influencing generation of the incident signal in the input bar, by employing advanced finite element techniques. The study showed that geometry of each Hopkinson bar component considered in this paper influences the shape of the incident signal to a certain extent. Predictions obtained from the finite element simulations were validated with experiments, and presented a very good agreement with the experimental data. © 2012 by Tomasz Cwik. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.

Conference paper

Ćwik TK, Iannucci L, Robinson P, Curtis PT, Pope DJet al., 2012, Investigation of factors influencing dynamic response of a tensile split hopkinson pressure bar, ISSN: 0273-4508

The paper presents results of a parametric study made on a tensile split Hopkinson pressure bar. The aim of the study was to identify factors influencing generation of the incident signal in the input bar, by employing advanced finite element techniques. The study showed that geometry of each Hopkinson bar component considered in this paper influences the shape of the incident signal to a certain extent. Predictions obtained from the finite element simulations were validated with experiments, and presented a very good agreement with the experimental data. © 2012 AIAA.

Conference paper

Raimondo L, Iannucci L, Robinson P, Curtis PTet al., 2012, Modelling of strain rate effects on matrix dominated elastic and failure properties of unidirectional fibre-reinforced polymer-matrix composites, COMPOSITES SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, Vol: 72, Pages: 819-827, ISSN: 0266-3538

Journal article

Raimondo L, Iannucci L, Robinson P, Curtis PTet al., 2012, A progressive failure model for mesh-size-independent FE analysis of composite laminates subject to low-velocity impact damage, COMPOSITES SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, Vol: 72, Pages: 624-632, ISSN: 0266-3538

Journal article

Micallef K, Soleiman-Fallah A, Curtis PT, Louca LAet al., 2012, A study of early-time response in dynamically loaded visco-elastic composites, Vol: 94, Pages: 1366-1378

Journal article

Robinson P, McCarroll CA, Pinho ST, Iannucci L, Curtis PTet al., 2012, Design and evaluation of a high rate mode i translaminar fracture toughness test for composite laminates

The compact tension (CT) specimen has been investigated for the measurement of the high rate Mode I translaminar toughness of a carbon epoxy composite laminate with a layup of [(90°/0°)890°] s. Finite element analyses using LS-DYNA showed that when loaded at high rates (up to 12 m/s) the CT specimen achieved virtually pure Mode I fracture. In additional analyses a data-reduction strategy was developed in which strain (measured at a specific position on the specimen) and crack length measured during a test could be used to determine the toughness in high rate tests. In an experimental programme the average propagation toughness exhibited a small overall decrease with increasing test speed but, in view of the considerable scatter, further testing will be required to confirm the significance of this trend. Examination of the fracture surfaces using a scanning electron microscope indicated that the fracture characteristics are essentially unchanged with increasing test speed.

Conference paper

Ankersen J, Greenhalgh ES, Tsampas SA, Curtis PTet al., 2012, Dynamic fracture in CFRP panels under compressive loading, ECCM 2012 - Composites at Venice, Proceedings of the 15th European Conference on Composite Materials

Little is known about compression crack velocities, and methods to arrest them. Here a sandwich panel was used for characterisation of rapid crack propagation under compressive loading by means of high speed video in conjunction with Digital Image Correlation (DIC). A finite element modelling approach was developed and compared with the test data. This investigation included plain skin panels and panels with thickened regions which showed evidence of crack retardation.

Journal article

Micallef K, Fallah AS, Pope DJ, Curtis PT, Iannucci L, Raimondo L, Louca LAet al., 2012, Mesh-insensitive finite element modelling of elastic-plastic composites

The aim of the present study is to investigate the behaviour of high-performance polypropylene based composites, such as Dyneema® and extract the response under tension, compression and shear. An energy-based approach to model the observed behaviour is presented. The proposed model is mesh-size independent by ensuring that the maximum element size does not exceed a computed value. Alternatively, the softening curve is adjusted such that the energy equivalence is maintained. A damage index is formulated to degrade material stiffness in each direction and also taking into account permanent plastic deformation under tensile loading. Compressive behaviour is accounted for by a simplified elastic-plastic response while shear deformation is characterised by a cubic stress-strain response. The proposed formulation will be implemented in a commercial finite element package, such as ABAQUS/Explicit, by means of a user-defined subroutine (VUMAT) and used to model extreme loading events on Dyneema® panels under localised and global blast loading.

Conference paper

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