Experimental and Numerical Study of Low-Velocity Impact Damage in Sandwich Panel with UHMWPE Composite Facings

Bin Yang, Qi Zhou, Juhyeong Lee, Yan Li, Kunkun Fu, Dongmin Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper is concerned with the low-velocity impact (LVI) response behaviour of sandwich composite panels (SCPs) with ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) composite facings and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)/Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) foam cores. A series of LVI tests with SCPs subjected to 50 J, 80 J and 110 J were conducted to examine their impact characteristics and damage mechanisms. LVI-induced internal damage in the SCPs were characterised by computed micro-tomography (μCT) analysis. The effects of UHMWPE areal density and foam type on the LVI responses and associated failure modes of the panels were also examined. The experimental results showed that the SCP with a PET foam core exhibited higher impact strength and energy absorption performance than those of the panel with a PVC foam core. In addition, a finite element (FE) model incorporating the Puck’s failure criteria, cohesive law and crushable foam plasticity model was developed and validated to predict the intra- and inter-laminar damages of SCPs. Finally, several failure mechanisms (fibre failure, matrix cracking and local delamination) of SCPs during LVI was thoroughly discussed. The results show the UH170-PET specimen has the best impact resistance and energy absorption performance. The parametric analysis of the areal density and foam type has revealed that these parameters can be optimised for the best LVI resistance of SCPs. These findings are helpful for designing lightweight foam-based sandwich composite structures with superior impact resistance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112519
JournalInternational Journal of Solids and Structures
Early online date12 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Low velocity impact (LVI)
  • Failure mechanisms
  • Sandwich composite panel (SCP)
  • Computed micro-tomography (μCT)
  • Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE)
  • Finite Element Modelling


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