Temperature-dependent thermal decomposition of carbon/epoxy laminates subjected to simulated lightning currents Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017 Society of Plastics Engineers A finite element (FE) parametric study was performed to characterize the temperature-dependence of irreversible thermal decomposition of AS4/3506 carbon/epoxy composites laminates subjected to simulated lightning currents of 40 kA or less during 30 s. In this study, irreversible matrix thermal decomposition caused by simulated lightning currents was considered as a primary form of lightning damage. FE simulations were conducted to compare the size and the intensity of matrix thermal decomposition based on the fully coupled spatially and temporally varying temperature/material model that we developed and recently reported (Lee et al., Polym. Compos., (in press)). Two commonly used matrix decomposition temperature ranges of 300500C and 300600C were considered to predict the extent of matrix decomposition. Matrix thermal decomposition was assumed to vary either linearly or quadratically within these given temperature ranges. The predicted size and intensity of matrix thermal decomposition around the lightning attachment point strongly depended on both the assumed thermal damage variation (i.e., linear or quadratic) and matrix decomposition temperature ranges. The shape and size of the damaged matrix domains predicted using the linear damage variation between 300 and 500C agreed fairly well with experimentally measured results available in the literature. Use of the linear damage variation between 300 and 600C and the quadratic damage variation over both considered temperature ranges somewhat underestimated thermal damage development compared to the few experimental lightning damage studies in the literature. POLYM. COMPOS., 39:E2185E2198, 2018. 2017 Society of Plastics Engineers.

published proceedings

  • Polymer Composites

author list (cited authors)

  • Lee, J., Lacy, T. E., Pittman, C. U., & Mazzola, M. S.

complete list of authors

  • Lee, Juhyeong||Lacy, Thomas E||Pittman, Charles U||Mazzola, Michael S

publication date

  • January 1, 2018 11:11 AM