The blast response of composite and fibre-metal laminate materials used in aerospace applications

G. S. Langdon, W. J. Cantwell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The blast behaviour of composite materials is a subject of growing importance generally due to the ever-present threat of subversive activity. The aircraft industry will employ composite materials more frequently in the future as they are lightweight, offer superior fatigue resistance, life cycle cost savings, fuel efficiency and (in some cases) improved impact properties, when compared with monolithic metals such as aluminium alloy. However, little is known about their response to blast loading. This chapter provides a brief introduction to the characteristics of explosions and demonstrates that a careful assessment of the blast loading scenarios for each aircraft design is required, as the loading is complicated by the degree of confinement, geometric variations and the multiplicity of potential explosion scenarios. Various blast protection paradigms are reported, with the containment strategy being most relevant for aircraft design at present. Recent experimental and numerical investigations concerning the blast behaviour of aerospace composites are reported. The response of fibre-reinforced polymers, polymeric sandwich panels and multilayered fibre-metal laminate (FML) structures are discussed in the context of the aerospace environment.

Original languageBritish English
Title of host publicationPolymer Composites in the Aerospace Industry
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780857099181
StatePublished - 2015


  • Blast response
  • Composite laminates
  • Failure
  • Fibre-metal laminates
  • Fibre-reinforced polymers


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