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Environmental effects on impact damage resistance and tolerance of composite laminates
1  Department of Chemical Engineering Materials Environment, Sapienza-Universit√† di Roma, Via Eudossiana 18, 00184 Roma


The extensive use of composite materials in industrial applications such as aeronautics, automobile, wind energy necessitates a sound understanding of the mechanical and damage behaviors of composites. It is well known that the service environment (temperature and humidity) influences the durability of composite structures, therefore environmental effects on tolerance design must be considered to guarantee their structural integrity. In particular, low velocity impact is assumed to be a severe threat to composite materials as significant internal damage can be generated that can be easily go undetected during a visual inspection. Therefore, the assessment of residual strength of composite structures after impact while considering the various environmental effects is a complex and not so common problem. In this regard, this work aims at highlighting the environmental effects on the impact behavior of composite laminates based on both synthetic and natural fibers, a topic that has received a limited coverage in the available literature, with a description of future research areas to bridge this gap of knowledge.

Keywords: hygrothermal ageing; low-velocity impact behavior; polymer matrix composites; mechanical properties; environmental degradation; damage mechanics