Publication :


How to define a mechanical impact equivalent to a lightning strike

Authors: F. Soulas, B. Lepetit, C. Espinosa, F. Lachaud, S. Guinard, J. Duval and I. Revel
Year: septembre 2015
Proceedings de : 2015 International Conference on Lightning and Static Electricity (ICOLSE).

Lightning strikes on thin monolithic composite materials such as aircraft fuselage skin induce two distinct kinds of direct effects: surface and bulk mechanical damage. Bulk damage includes fibre-resin debonding, transverse cracks, fibre rupture and ply delamination which are caused by mechanical stresses resulting from physical processes induced by lightning strikes such as surface explosion or magnetic force generation. We propose here a method to design mechanical impact tests wanted to be representative of lightning ones in the sense that strains and stresses applied to the material in both situations are comparable. The criterion of equivalence we rely on is thus the temporal evolution of the rear face deflection. Mechanical impact tests leading to deflections quite similar to the ones obtained during lightning tests have been designed using a simulation driven procedure and performed experimentally. A comparison between these two kinds of tests is then achieved, based on the two observables: rear face deflection for which we have a quite good matching for the first 100 µs and internal damage (delamination area and profile) for which we obtain an acceptable matching for the total delaminated area but very poor matching for the distribution of the delamination in the laminate.

Bibtex citation :
Author={Soulas, F. and Lepetit, B. and Espinosa, C. and Lachaud, F. and Guinard, S. and Duval, J. and Revel, I.},
Title={How to define a mechanical impact equivalent to a lightning strike},
Booktitle={2015 International Conference on Lightning and Static Electricity (ICOLSE)},

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