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This article presents the damage tolerance criteria for military composite aircraft structures to safely operate the structures with initial defects or in-service damage. It describes the effects of defects, such as wrinkles in aircraft structures, and the reduction in compressive strength and tensile strength. The article reviews low velocity impacts in aircraft structures in terms of resin toughness, laminate thickness, specimen size and impactor mass, and post-impact fatigue. It explains the tension strength analysis, such as linear elastic fracture mechanics and R-curve methods, to predict the residual strength of the structures.

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