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Modelling the effects of patch-plug configuration on the impact performance of patch-repaired composite laminates

Liu, Haibao; Liu, Jun; Hall, Zoe E.C.; Brooks, Richard A.; Crocker, James W.M.; Joesbury, Adam M.; Harper, Lee T.; Blackman, Bamber R.K.; Kinloch, Anthony J.; Dear, John P.


Haibao Liu

Jun Liu

Zoe E.C. Hall

Richard A. Brooks

James W.M. Crocker

Associate Professor - Composites Manufacturing

Bamber R.K. Blackman

Anthony J. Kinloch

John P. Dear


The patch-plug configuration has been widely used to repair composite structures and restore the structural integrity of damaged composites. In the present research, single-sided CFRP patch-repaired panels, with different patch-plug configurations, are prepared. This is where a circular-shaped damaged area has been removed and a CFRP patch has been adhesively-bonded onto the panel. In some cases, a CFRP plug is inserted into the hole, caused by removal of the damaged area, before the patch is applied. Such patch-repaired panels, and the pristine CFRP panel, are subjected to a low-velocity impact at an energy of 7.5 J. These impacted pristine and repaired panels are then examined using ultrasonic C-scan and optical microscopy to inspect the impact-associated permanent indentation, interlaminar and intralaminar damage. A finite element analysis (FEA) model, which significantly extends a previously validated elastic-plastic (E-P) numerical damage model, has been developed to predict the impact behaviour of the pristine CFRP panel and the various designs of patch-repaired CFRP panels. The comparison between the experimental and numerical results for all the studied cases shows the maximum deviations for the loading response and the damage area are 12% and 15%, respectively. The good agreement between the experimentally-measured impact properties and those predicted using the numerical model demonstrates that the model is a useful design tool.


Liu, H., Liu, J., Hall, Z. E., Brooks, R. A., Crocker, J. W., Joesbury, A. M., …Dear, J. P. (2023). Modelling the effects of patch-plug configuration on the impact performance of patch-repaired composite laminates. Composites Science and Technology, 233, Article 109917.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 7, 2023
Online Publication Date Jan 9, 2023
Publication Date Mar 1, 2023
Deposit Date Jan 10, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jan 11, 2023
Journal Composites Science and Technology
Print ISSN 0266-3538
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 233
Article Number 109917
Keywords General Engineering; Ceramics and Composites
Public URL
Publisher URL


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