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Dr Andrew Phillips

Defence Scientist, Defence Science and Technology Group

Topic: Low velocity impact of thick maritime composites


The ocean and waterways of the world contain many objects that can impact and cause damage to a vessel. These impactors consist of a wide range of materials, including ice, wood (e.g. pallets, lumber, trees), metal (e.g. shipping containers, cables, other vessels) as well as large marine animals. Polymer composites used in structural marine applications are typically thick and solid so that they can withstand the high fluid forces, and also can be highly curved for improved hydrodynamic performance. The impact performance of such thick and curved composite structures has received comparatively little attention and is still poorly understood compared with thinner aerospace composites. The first part of the paper briefly reviews key features of impact in the marine environment including potential impact locations, possible impactors and their range of velocities. The second part of the paper summarises results from recent preliminary experimental studies which aimed to investigate the out-of-plane low velocity impact behaviour of a number of flat composite laminates. The effect of laminate thickness, hybridisation with different fibres and fabric architectures, and the influence of internal ply drops will be discussed.


Dr Andrew Phillips joined the Acoustic Materials System group in the Maritime Division of the Defence Science and Technology Group which is part of the Australian Department of Defence in 2012. Andrew received a PhD in Materials Engineering at Monash University in 2011. His current research interests include: advanced composite structures for naval applications, automated composite manufacture methods, failure analysis, fluid-structure interaction and more recently acoustic materials.